Although most fans will probably focus on how Olympians perform during the events, many of the athletes themselves look forward to the Olympic Games as much for the "social" activities as for the competition. When thousands of fit, young athletes are quarantined in the same area, hookups are bound to happen.
USA Today described their surroundings as being like a big college dorm, complete with a recreation center called The Globe that looks like a nightclub. While there's no alcohol, athletes and coaches are free to bring the beverages in -- and that atmosphere, combined with the hormone levels associated the Olympic events, seemingly create a feeling of sexual tension.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek already has reported that athletes at this year's games would have tens of thousands of free condoms available to them at Olympic Village. That's an impressive number, but there's no word on whether the condoms will feature the "Faster, Higher, Stronger" imprint on them, as the contraceptives at the Beijing Games did in 2008, according to TresSugar. Sports-specific logos are also common, with curlers previously having received condom packets with curling stones on them.
In a recent interview with ESPN, American soccer player Hope Solo revealed it wasn't rare for athletes to be sneaking guests in and out of their rooms at night.
"I probably shouldn't tell you this, but we met a bunch of celebrities. Vince Vaughn partied with us," Hope Solo said. "Steve Byrne, the comedian. And at some point we decided to take the party back to the village, so we started talking to the security guards, showed off our gold medals, got their attention, and snuck our group through without credentials -- which is absolutely unheard of. ... I may have snuck a celebrity back to my room without anybody knowing, and snuck him back out. But that's my Olympic secret."
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Other athletes reported finding themselves in bathroom stalls with other Olympians and even getting acquainted in the stands.
The New York Post has reported on an anonymous female U.S. Olympian who said athletes frequently filled water bottles with alcohol and smoked marijuana on Olympic grounds.
"When I'm there, I'm in two different gears," the source said. "I'm so focused that I see nothing else, or I'm partying my butt off." At another point in the interview, she said the team partied so hard that when they met with Vice President Joe Biden she wondered if he could smell the alcohol on her breath. Being drunk at the White House is a tradition, according to two-time gold medalist Todd Lodwick.
It shouldn't be a surprise, though, that not every athlete engages in the sex and partying at the Olympic Games. The Post's source reported there are often two groups of athletes: the focused ones who are motivated to win medals, and the unfocused ones who know they have a slim chance to do well, so they might as well have a good time. As the games wear on, athletes from the former group tend to acquaint themselves with the latter.
Hope Solo said athletes are "extremists," so the ones who party hard really have a good time, but when it's time to train, they're all business.