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02 Feb 2018

Record-number of condoms to be provided at 2018 Winter Olympics

Naughty Olympics: History of condoms at the games

2018 Winter Olympics, Pyeongchang, has set a record even before the games have begun, for the largest number of condoms to be made available for participating athletes.

110,000 condoms will be distributed at the event; 10,000 more than the amount provided at the last winter games in Sochi, Russia.

With condom story being a staple of every Olympics, we look at its history.

In context

Naughty Olympics: History of condoms at the games

Getting down to the numbers

110,000 condoms for nearly 3,000 athletes at the 2018 games, works out to be 37 condoms per sportsperson at an event that lasts only 16 days (9th-25th February).

From where did the Olympic condom story begin?


From where did the Olympic condom story begin?

Condoms were first publicly distributed at the 1998 Olympics in Seoul, to prevent the spread of HIV.

The facade of a celibate Olympics began to crumble with the 1992 Games when it was reported that "organizers had ordered in prophylactics like pizza."

2000 Sydney Games fell short of condoms, when the initial 70,000 weren't enough and 20,000 more condoms were ordered in.

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The numbers only go up

The numbers of condoms supplied at every Olympic game, has consistently gone up over the years. At the most recent game, the 2016 Rio Olympics, 450,000 were distributed at the Olympic village, a figure which worked out to 42 condoms per athlete.

Sex not a myth

What happens in the village stays in the village?

"What happens in the Olympic village stays in the village", seems to be the second Olympic motto which Olympians abide by.

As revealed by the US Soccer goalkeeper, and 2-time Olympics Gold medallist Hope Solo, "There's a lot of sex going on...I've seen people having sex right out in the open."

World record swimmer, Ryan Lochte said that 70-75% of Olympians engage in sex.

Tinder and Grindr usage skyrocketed in recent games

While the story of crash of the Grindr app (Tinder for gays) is well known at the 2012 London Olympics, the 2014 Sochi Games belonged to Tinder whose usage at the Olympic village was described as "next level" by US snow boarder Jamie Anderson.

Why so much sex at the Olympics?

Cultural shift and close proximity

Why so much sex at the Olympics?

While there is not one specific reason for the increase in sexual activity at the Olympics, it is believed that a cultural shift in the past decade, impacted by dating apps, is a major contributor.

Further, a changing attitude towards sex, in addition to a once-in-a-lifetime experience where thousands of young, supremely healthy athletes are put in close quarters, could be among other reasons.

A dedicated person for condom distribution at Rio games

Eric, the man who was solely assigned to walk around and distribute condoms at the Rio Olympic village, was a Twitter sensation during the games. This was apart from the contraceptives that were already available through the vending machines.

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