The Olympics are finally here! I absolutely love watching the Olympics — especially swimming, a sport I competed in, myself, years and years…and years ago. That is why I really wish that I could unread this ESPN article about the debauchery that goes on amongst our ‘heroes’ in Olympic Village, the place where all or most athletes stay during the Olympic games.
Arriving at Olympic Village is “like the first day of college,” said 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.” And many, many of them do. So many that there is now a standing order of 100,000 condoms per Olympics.
Carrie Sheinberg, an alpine skier at the ’94 Winter Games, called Olympic Village “a magical, fairy-tale place, like Alice in Wonderland, where everything is possible. You could win a gold medal and you can sleep with a really hot guy.” Wow. No wonder Lolo Jones, said that remaining a virgin is, “the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.” Good luck at the Olympics this year, Lolo, both on the track and off!
Julie Foudy, who has two golds and one silver from playing soccer in three Olympics, said that in the dining hall, “We’d graze over our food for hours watching all the eye candy, wondering why I got married.” Lovely. It’s worth noting here that, like college, in the village athletes room together in same gender dorm-like halls and, apparently, they do not have accommodations for athletes who are married to stay with their spouses.
Of all of the Olympians quoted in the ESPN article, I think I was most disappointed to hear what swimmer Ryan Lochte, who I’ve been anxiously looking forward to cheering on with the rest of Gator Nation, had to say. “My last Olympics, I had a girlfriend — big mistake,” he told ESPN. “Now I’m single, so London should be really good. I’m excited.” What a class act.
To cut down on some of the shenanigans in the past some coaches have imposed bans on alcohol consumption and even cross-gender visitation in bedrooms. I’m also glad to see that there will be a good number of chaplains on hand in the village this year. It sounds like many of our Olympians could benefit from their guidance.
Look, I was never under the delusion that these people were absolutely flawless human beings, and I don’t expect them to me, but I don’t think I’ll ever watch the Olympics the same way again after reading this. The New York Post also wrote about it earlier this month.
What does it profit a man if he wins gold in the Olympic games and forfeits his soul in Olympic Village?
Self discipline is not just for athletic training.