Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Olympic Village a hive of debauchery? (at least according to the Guardian)

If a double page spread in today's Guardian (G2 section) entitled "Party hard and do some groping", and bordered at the top and bottom by sets of coloured condoms arranged to look like sets of Olympic rings, is anything to go by ......
.... then the strap line of the Day for Life being marked by the Catholic Church over the opening weekend of the London Olympics might just have something to say to the zeitgeist:
Use your body for the glory of God (1 Cor 6:20)
The Guardian have not got the article on their website - they have edited it from another on-line source, who have it, so far as I can tell, behind a pay wall. A flavour:
It's clear that, summer or winter, the games continue long after the medal ceremony."There's a lot of sex going on," says women's football goalkeeper Hope Solo, an American gold medallist in Beijing in 2008. "I'd say its 70% to 75% of Olympians," agrees US world-record-holding swimmer Ryan Lochte, who will be in London for his third Games....Some (athletes) swear off sex until their events are done; others make it part of their pre-event routine.
The Guardian article suggests that it takes an order for 100 000 condoms by the Games organisers to meet the expected demand. It rather reminds me of the story I heard once of a Personal Development Curriculum (PDC) department in a school rather apologetically alerting their colleagues in other departments that they were going to be doing sex education with the pupils that week and that, if any condoms turned up inappropriately in lessons or around the school, could their colleagues please take them off the pupils and return them to the PDC department. I wonder whether the Olympic athletes will, in reality, have much the same sense of things to do with condoms as these pupils seem to have had .....

There is a temptation to list the names of the athletes who are quoted in the Guardian article, but it is not clear how far most of them actually participated in the fun and games they describe.  That many are Americans is because the original source article was written and published by an American on-line magazine. The Guardian article doesn't suggest any sense of shame on their part, but their reticence, or the reticence of the author of the article, does suggest some sense of a boundary being transgressed. And whilst the Guardian article appears to want to give one impression of what happens in the Olympic Village, I am quite sure that many of the athletes just have far more sense than to behave in the way being described. The Day for Life theme has a chance to affirm these athletes in resisting the pressure of the culture being created around the Village.

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