Sex, Olympics Style: Life in the Olympic Village


Racy photos of the female Russian Olympic squad just surfaced and promptly went viral just prior to the Sochi Olympics, prompting the athletes to tell the world to stop judging them for their beauty.  It’s not easy, particularly when you have athletes in as close quarters as you do at the Olympic Games.  Tales of the parties that Olympic athletes have become known for in the Olympic Villages at all the games continue to surface, and it’s expected that Sochi will be no exception.  The beauty of these athletes is that they know exactly how special they are, and when you are living in close quarters, it’s easy to go for casual sex, Olympic style, or something more permanent.

Consider 1956 American athlete and hammer-thrower Harold “Hal” Connolly and his ex-love, Olga Fikotova, a discus thrower whom he met and fell in love with during Melbourne, Australia’s Summer Olympics that year.  The pair married in 1957 during 3 ceremonies in Prague and were married 17 years, only to divorce in 1974.  While their union was long-lived and produced a son, the inevitability of their coming together was undeniable, according to sex therapist Dr. Judy Kurianski, who works out of Columbia University’s Teachers College.  She describes the potential for sex, Olympics style during any one of the games as a stew of potent chemicals roiling together in the Olympic Village until finally, the athletes give in and succumb to their baser desires.

Reporter Sam Allpour investigated the party in the Olympics Village in an ESPN article called Will You Still Medal in the Morning? in the run up to the London Olympics.  Former alpine skier Carrie Sheinberg, who competed in the ’94 Winter Games and continued to report for the games that followed, says that life in the Olympic Village is nothing short of living life in Alice in Wonderland, where virtually anything can happen.  Allpour noted that his ESPN story unintentionally lived up to stereotypes, where male athletes received congratulatory gestures and statements for tales of their sexual prowess while the female athletes were essentially vilified and deemed unsavory.

Water polo captain Tony Azevedo, who competed in London, Beijing, Athens and Sydney, likened his experiences in the Olympic Village to college life and noted that all an Olympian may really be looking for is a sliver of intimacy in a world that they have pretty much been living a solitary existence.  He recalled the challenges of meeting someone who could live with an Olympian’s daily schedule, saying that after a full day of training, many athletes can’t meet anyone until they hit the Olympic Village, and then sparks suddenly fly and there’s sex, Olympics style.

Kurianski says the college feel of the village contributes to the electric level of sexuality that runs through it.  Isolation and a sense of “specialness” that runs through all the athletes trigger a sense of thinking that what happens there, stays there.

100,000 condoms have been on order for many of the games, including Sochi, and Kurianski suggests that sex, Olympics style in the Olympic Village may simply be a method of the athletes at the games grabbing their moment and trying not to think about their conscience.  Whatever the situation, it would seem that life in the Olympic Village will have some secrets that some will keep to themselves.

By Christina St-Jean


ESPN The Magazine

ABC News

The Telegraph

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