|London's Olympic Village, which in less than two weeks will become battier than a block of freshman dormitories. (AP)|
What else am I supposed to do but share when an article contains so many gems, like this one:
"They basically throw us all in a stadium and say, 'Just go for it, party hard, get drunk and do some groping.' Which we did, with some Canadians."
Canadians. How adorable.
In a piece for ESPN The Magazine, Sam Alipour interviewed dozens of Olympians -- ranging in representatives from 1976 to 2012 -- about what life is like for the fortnight in the contained-yet-raucous Olympic Village. There's another kind of world happening, far away from the reach of any kind of media's camera.
The anecdotes in the piece are terrific, if not surprising. Reports of 100,000 condoms being shipped in past years to the Olympics blew the lid open on how carnal the participants get. The Olympic Village is one big petri dish of coition that's enabled by the sense of freedom earned once these ultra-focused athletes get a few nights away from their handlers and coaches.
Remember how great -- and continually tempting -- college was? Especially those first few weeks, when you were so green about everything and you attempted to hit on anything that moved? The Olympics are that, only with much more attractive and confident people. Everywhere.
It quickly becomes clear that, summer or winter, the games go on long after the medal ceremony. "There's a lot of sex going on," says women's soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo, a gold medalist in 2008. How much sex? "I'd say it's 70 percent to 75 percent of Olympians," offers world-record-holding swimmer Ryan Lochte, who will be in London for his third Games. "Hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do."
The games begin as soon as teams move in a week or so before opening ceremonies. "It's like the first day of college," says water polo captain Tony Azevedo, a veteran of Beijing, Athens and Sydney who is returning to London. "You're nervous, super excited. Everyone's meeting people and trying to hook up with someone."
As the story depicts, the location of hook-ups can be anywhere on Village grounds. (Because the beds appear to be just as unforgiving as the one you had in your freshman dorm.)
Solo, adds, "Athletes are extremists. When they're training, it's laser focus. When they go out for a drink, it's 20 drinks. With a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you want to build memories, whether it's sexual, partying or on the field. I've seen people having sex right out in the open. On the grass, between buildings, people are getting down and dirty."
It's Solo's admission that the women's soccer team was furtively drunk for an early morning "Today Show" appearance that's drawn the most reaction from this piece, but I've gotta say, the number of Olympians who went on record about all the titillating details is pretty surprising. The admissions make for a good read.
Another example, a quote which I can't help but believe Mr. Greer already regrets. How you say it doesn't always come out the same way in print.
On the way to practice fields, "the girls are in skimpy panties and bras, the dudes in underwear, so you see what everybody is working with from the jump," says Breaux Greer, an American javelin thrower. "Even if their face is a 7, their body is a 20."
Thaaaaat's great. Nothing like the old-fashioned ratings system to really get down to brass tacks and realize what we're working with. But, we are dealing with a guy named Breaux.
There's a point made in the story that's rational and reasonable as to why the sex fest and party lifestyle is inevitable. First off, yeah: attractive people in the prime of their lives all swarming around each other during warm months of the year. It's a beehive of eroticism. But another explanation for the sexual exploits is the identification these athletes have with each other. Training for the Olympics is grueling and often lonely work. Suddenly an athlete finds themselves surrounded by like-minded and like-driven people and it's easy to see why built up aggression and energy needs to be released.
Anyway, do read the story. Tales of sex on balconies, whirlpool orgies and trading sex for medals -- it's all in there. Really, it's just like all your best memories of college: undoubtedly embellished and forever better after the fact.