Sexual Shangri-la, a party with 16,500 hard bodies on the guest list, the world’s biggest condom economy… an Olympic Athletes’ Village is traditionally the focus of heated outsider speculation. In its Beijing incarnation, it is a place where you might spot a slightly glum-looking Rafael Nadal wandering about in pink clothes.(…)
Ah, the swimmers. People dream of coming back as an Olympic athlete whose competition is over midway through the fortnight, with nothing to do with their physically perfect forms other than… well, we’ll leave it to the spokesman for the body that supplies the athletes with condoms to explain. “There are many young, strong, single people, in the Athletes’ Village,” he declared before Beijing. “And, like everywhere, some will fall in love – or other things.”
Staff prefers to put it elliptically. “It is a pretty amazing place, full of people who really look after their bodies…”
Married to Malia and the father of twins, he is speaking with some distance on the situation, but has amusing memories of the Manchester Commonwealth Games. “I remember going into the English HQ and there were literally huge bowls of condoms everywhere. My mate said: ‘Dude, this is going to be amazing!’.”
The Athletes’ Village condom allocation for Beijing was 100,000, and though they have yet to call for fresh supplies, we are only at the start of week two. In Sydney the initial batch of 70,000 was gone about now, and another 20,000 were on emergency order. And frankly, it’s not the athletes’ job to fight science.
The gold-medal-winning American swimmer BJ Bedford once described Olympic Villages as “10,000 people walking around hyped up on their own glycogen”, adding that “you can almost see the sparks flying off their skin”.