Party Time for Olympic Athletes

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

LONDON (AP) - "Sex And The City" move over. Here comes "Sex
In The Village." Make that athletes village. As in Olympics.

Tales of shenanigans at the living quarters for 10,000 super-fit
young men and women have always abounded, and London doesn't look as if it will be any different.

U.S. women's soccer star Hope Solo recently dished about serious
partying at the Beijing Games, and some newly arrived athletes say
they can hardly wait for the fun to begin.

"The Olympics is the height of your career, so you might do
some things you don't usually do," British beach volleyball player
Shauna Mullin said with a giggle Wednesday.

Most, like Mullin, will restrain from going too far, aware
they're in the international spotlight.

Still, there's no need to be prudish, according to the man
overseeing the health of the Brazilian team.

"(Sex) is common at the Olympics. It's necessary. It's
natural," Dr. Joao Olyntho Machado Neto said. "If you are going
to be healthy people, why not make sex? ... Brazil is very tolerant
with sex as a country. We don't have Victorian minds and we're not
religious."

Ivory Coast swimmer Kouassi Brou was one of the youngest
competitors in Beijing at 16, but he's grown up now.

And ready for some Olympic love.

"In 2008 I was so young and so shy, so I didn't interact with
the women," the 20-year-old Brou said. "But now I'm a big man. So
I can try. I will try."

And he's clear about his ambitions.

"If they are beautiful, it's OK," he said.

Thousands of free condoms will be available. Organizers have
heard enough about village antics from previous games to know there
will be heavy demand by athletes for contraception.

Solo recalled seeing competitors having sex out in the open in
Beijing.

"On the grass, between buildings, people are getting down and
dirty," the 2008 gold medalist told ESPN The Magazine recently.

Still, her revelations startled some athletes interviewed in the
athletes village on Wednesday.

"It's not something I've seen at all. ... Maybe I wasn't up on
the right nights," Australian canoeist Warwick Draper said. "It's
not something I think you'd expect to see in the village."

Mullin knows how she would react to anything racy: "I'm pretty
sure if I see it I'll end up laughing."

Wild parties in athletes villages are not new. Many of them live
in a world where every move is followed by the media and they're
delighted to unwind in the privacy of the village, where the
outside world is excluded.

Ask fencer Kanae Ikehata about bed hopping between the apartment
buildings, and her blushing cheeks turn even more red.

"I am Japanese," she said, suggesting her compatriots'
behavior is more elegant than others.

"I'll only look," she added while shopping for Olympic
merchandise.

But maybe the amorous couples Solo spotted outdoors in Beijing
had the right idea.

Fitting just one person into the beds provided for Olympians in
London is proving to be a problem in itself.

"As an athlete you have to relax, get a little bit of space ...
but here it is tight and the beds are too small," said Sierra
Leone sprinter Ibrahim Turay. "It is a bit difficult for me to lie
down."

There's also not much privacy.

"It's pretty tight for us. I'm sharing one room with my coach
and there are four rooms in one apartment, with one toilet, so we
have to figure out how to use the toilet," Turay said.

There won't be much party time for Turay. His events go nearly
until the end. The closing ceremony is Aug. 12.

He hopes others can keep the sound levels down.

"I just have to keep myself away from the crowd, the noisy
distractions," he said.


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