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Athletes are getting 160,000 condoms at Tokyo Olympics to take back to their own countries, officials say

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Jun 14, 2021 5:40 pm

The Tokyo Olympics organizers plan to distribute about 160,000 condoms to about 11,000 athletes during the quadrennial event that is set to be held from July 23 to Aug. 8.

It is not a secret what happens at the Olympic Village, where some physically fit and attractive individuals housed in close living quarters engage in sexual activities. 

ESPN once described an Olympic Village where the athletes were billeted as a bustling “city within a city” that usually has condominiums, mid-rises and houses, even cafes, barbershops, arcades and discos.

In Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, it was reported that Tinder was widely used at the village, while an athlete who participated at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics told ESPN that there was “a lot of sex going on,” claiming that about 70 to 75 percent of Olympians have sex in the Olympics.

It was during the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul where condoms were publicly distributed to participating athletes from around the world to promote safe sex and to reduce the spread of HIV.

For this year’s Olympics, which was plagued by postponement since its original staging last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to continue the condom distribution tradition. 

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, about 450,000 condoms were distributed to over 10,000 athletes.

In a statement, the IOC said, “Our intent and goal is not for athletes to use the condoms at the Olympic Village, but to help with awareness by taking them back in their own countries.”

In February, the IOC released a 33-page playbook that tells athletes to “avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact” (hugs, high fives and handshakes), keep two meters or 6 feet apart from other participants, and support each other by “clapping, not singing or chanting” during the games. 

In these pandemic times, the organizers of the Olympics are not taking any chances.

“Without the proper measures in place, it will only take one person to bring in the virus and spread it, especially in places like the athlete village,” said the Nobuhiko Okabe, one of the infectious disease specialist advisers for the Tokyo Olympics.

He added, ”We have to do what we can to make sure an outbreak doesn't happen, and we really need the cooperation of all the athletes and delegations to make this work.”

In this year’s Olympics, about 11,000 athletes are expected to participate, which means around 14 condoms are allotted for each athlete.

Over 160,000 condoms seem like a huge number but during the Rio Olympics in 2016, over 450,000 were given away, which totalled to 42 condoms per athlete.