The 2018 Winter Olympics opened with a wonderful display of athleticism, nationalism and cooperation between nations.
With the entire spectacle, it is easy to forget that the athletes are only people too. Specifically, they are people who have a lot of sex—especially in the Olympic Village.
There are 2,592 athletes from 92 countries participating in the Olympics this year, and as spirits run high, so do the athletes’ sex drive, according to Time Magazine.
For this reason, South Korea is supplying the athletes with 110,000 free condoms—37 per athlete, which is $93,370 worth of condoms. All 110,000 were donated by Korean businesses, according to Time Magazine.
The number of condoms supplied this year is the most for any Winter Olympics. The record for any Olympics, however, was set at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, when 450,000 free condoms were distributed, according to Time Magazine.
The use of dating apps like Tinder contribute greatly to the situation. During the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Jamie Anderson, a snowboarder, told Us Weekly that Tinder was very heavily used in the athlete’s village. In 2012, before the London Olympics, it was reported that Grindr crashed from the sheer number of users, according to Bustle.
Rampant sexual activity at the Games is not a new problem. South Korea was the first to give out free condoms to the athletes in 1988, establishing a precedent that the host country provides condoms to athletes, according to Time Magazine.
The Olympic Village is unique in that it does not allow family members or reporters to be in the boundaries with the athletes—so sexual encounters are more easily kept secret.
There is little fear of consequence to one’s career and reputation from hooking up with other competitors. Ironically, athletes have a considerable amount of privacy, even when competing on the global Olympic stage.
Athletes, nevertheless, need to be creative with the places they have sex. Much like college, athletes have roommates who are not always going to want to leave the room for a hook-up, especially if they have an event the next day.
Outside sex is not uncommon. In the Seoul Games in 1988, South Korean officials reportedly found wrappers from the free condoms they provided on the roofs of athlete housing, according to Time Magazine. This resulted in a ban on outside sex during those games. Athletes nevertheless maintained their sexual appetites.
Some athletes are creative about doing it around others—by asking them to join, according to ESPN. During the 2010 Vancouver Games, a whirlpool party of six athletes turned into a whirlpool orgy, with many athletes partaking in that night’s activities.
The closing ceremony is the highpoint of it all: every athlete is done competing, and the end of the games turns into one giant party throughout the village.
In an ESPN interview, members of the women’s soccer team indicated that sometimes even celebrities join in on the festivities and hook up with athletes.
One downside is that athletes can be easily distracted by these sexual escapades. For example, Taylor Phinney, an American cyclist, had a relationship with a gymnast, according to ESPN. Phinney did not do as well as predicted, and admitted that it could have been due to distractions from the girls.
It is important, however, not to judge the athletes too harshly. After all, the road to the top is lonely and being in the Olympic Village is one of their few chances to be around like-minded people. Everyone needs intimacy, even Olympians.