Everything you need to know about sex at the Olympics
The first record of the Rio Olympics was set ahead of the opening ceremony when 450,000 condoms were ordered for the athletes’ village.
There are 10,500 competitors in Rio, making that 42 condoms each — even before Australia, Britain and other nations ordered in extra allocations. The London Olympics were dubbed “the raunchiest Games ever” but a mere 150,000 condoms were allocated to the village four years ago.
The first reports stem from Seoul 1988, when 8,500 condoms were distributed. Many were found on the roofs of the village residences, leading to an official Olympic ban on outdoor sex.
In 1992, the figure went up more than 10-fold to 90,000, although Atlanta, in the US Deep South, scaled it back to 15,000.
An initial 70,000 at the Sydney Olympics was not enough and extra supplies had to be brought in during the event. There were 130,000 in Athens.
“It’s a story that always gets massive media uptake,” says Olympian and Channel Seven commentator David Culbert.
“The message is, ‘If the world’s best athletes are shagging in your zingers, then it’s probably good enough for the guy at the local footy club.’”
Culbert is also a media and p.r. specialist with his own company, Jump Media. He seems genuinely awed by the Australian Olympic Committee’s decision to add an extra thousand or so of their own sponsor’s condoms — claimed to give extra protection from the Zika virus — to the mountain of rubber already in the village.
“That’s total marketing spin,” he says. “They’re talking up the protection against the Zika virus. What’s Cate Campbell doing, putting it on her head when she dives in for a swim?
“It’s going to be tough for [pole vaulter] Alana Boyd to jump in a full-body condom. Protection from the Zika virus? Please. But I’m a little disappointed I didn’t come up with it myself as a p.r. person.”
Culbert believes the stories of sex at the Olympics are overplayed.
“I think it’s a bit of a myth. I’m sure it exists,” he says. “I’m sure there’s the Fabio who runs around and more interested in notches on the belt than how they’re going in the Games, but for most of these people, it’s the ultimate moment of their sporting career.”
Culbert said the earlier an athlete competed at the Games likely had an impact on how hard they went thereafter.
“You were slightly envious of a diver or someone on the opening morning — they’re done by lunchtime day one. Therefore you’ve got 16 days of Club Med on steroids (and I mean that in the nicest possible way). It’s a ramped-up, hyped-up Club Med if you no longer have to compete.”
While there is an attitude of “What happens in the village stays in the village” for many athletes, there are many more who have been happy to share their experiences of Games gone by.
Key moments in the history of Olympics sex
The use of Tinder in the athletes’ village was described as “next level” by US snowboarder Jamie Anderson during the Sochi games. There were 100,000 condoms made available there. Anderson said she ultimately deleted her account because it was “way too distracting.” It paid off: She won the slopestyle gold medal.
If Sochi was the Tinder Games, London belonged to its gay equivalent Grindr. The Mirror quoted a “Londoner” as saying the app crashed as soon as athletes started arriving. “Either loads of athletes were logging on to meet fellow Olympians or were looking to bag a local.”
Some athletes, notably Americans, felt liberated enough to talk freely about sex. US soccer player Hope Solo told ESPN she saw athletes having “sex right out in the open.”
Swimmer Ryan Lochte, a regular poster boy in Olympic sex stories, added: “My last Olympics, I had a girlfriend — big mistake. Now I’m single, so London should be really good. I’m excited.”
This time Lochte has signed up for Tinder.
“I heard it took off and then people were talking about it and I was like, ‘Let me try this.’ So I got on it and I’ve been matching up with a bunch of gorgeous women who are smart, they have professional jobs and everything. I’m like, ‘Wow, this is perfect.’ So I’ve been on Tinder lately.”
ESPN reported that six athletes enjoyed an orgy in a hot tub at the village as 100,000 condoms were distributed. There were rumors that they ran out, leading to a top-up.
“Indications are that Vancouver topped the podium for Winter Olympics,” said a spokesman. “Although we recently heard that they issued 35 million condoms for Mardi Gras in Rio, so I suppose we all have a long, long way to go to reach that mark.”
Michael Phelps and our own Stephanie Rice sent tabloids into a frenzy when the swimmers engaged in what the New York Post described as “face-sucking frolics.” Meanwhile, in The Times, Matthew Syed, a former table tennis Olympian, wrote there was a “sex fest” in Beijing. Solo, meanwhile, revealed to ESPN that she had sex with a celeb — but wouldn’t give the name.
It’s not like Sydney to be austere, but the organizers were caught with their pants down when an initial run of 70,000 condoms was gone after a week.
US javelin thrower Breaux Greer told ESPN that he had relations with three women every day of the Olympics and enjoyed the company of another on the flight home.
But the story of target shooter Josh Lakatos takes some beating. After team management asked him to check out of the village, he stayed on surreptitiously and allowed US teammates to hook up in the spare rooms of his villa.
“And on it went for eight days as scores of Olympians, male and female, trickled into the shooter’s house — and that’s what everyone called it, Shooters’ House — at all hours, stopping by an Oakley duffel bag overflowing with condoms procured from the village’s helpful medical clinic,” wrote ESPN. After a while, it dawned on Lakatos: “I’m running a friggin’ brothel in the Olympic Village! I’ve never witnessed so much debauchery in my entire life.”