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You know one when you see one: College backpack, bag tags and the fancy Nike-issued gear. Ever wonder if they notice chicks staring and giggling with their friends when they walk by?
Since the pandemic started, Zoom meetings, workdays balanced with childcare, and virtual office happy hours have us stretched to capacity when it comes to not just our professional obligations, but the amount of energy we have to invest in our other relationships and ourselves.
Halfway through the Summer Olympics in Sydney, he and his rifle-toting teammates were finished with their events, and the U. Olympic Committee and team officials had ordered them to turn in the keys to their three-story house and head back to the States. But Lakatos didn't want to leave. He knew from his experience four years earlier in Atlanta, where he'd won silver, that the Olympic Village was just about to erupt into a raucous party, and there was no way he was going to miss it.
So he asked the maid at the emptied-out dwelling if she'd kindly look the other way as he jimmied the lock. Within hours, word of the nearly vacant property had spread. The only thing missing is privacy -- nearly everyone is stuck with a roommate. So while Lakatos claimed a first-floor suite for himself, the remaining rooms were there for the taking. The first to claim space that night were some Team USA track and field fellas.
And I'm just going, 'Holy crap, we'd watched these girls run the night before. And on it went for eight days as scores of Olympians, male and female, trickled into the shooter's house -- and that's what everyone called it, Shooters' House -- at all hours, stopping by an Oakley duffel bag overflowing with condoms procured from the village's helpful medical clinic.
After a while, it dawned on Lakatos: "I'm running a friggin' brothel in the Olympic Village! I've never witnessed so much debauchery in my entire life.
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Toprospective members need only have spectacular talent and -- we long assumed -- a chaste devotion to the most intense competition of their lives. But the image of a celibate Games began to flicker in '92 when it was reported that the Games' organizers had ordered in prophylactics like pizza. Then, at the Sydney Games, 70, condoms wasn't enough, prompting a second order of 20, and a new standing order ofcondoms per Olympics. Many Olympians, past and present, abide by what Summer Sanders, a swimmer who won two gold medals, a silver and a bronze in Barcelona, calls the second Olympic motto: "What happens in the village stays in the village.
It quickly becomes clear that, summer or winter, the games go on long after the medal ceremony. How much sex? The games begin as soon as teams move in a week or so before opening ceremonies. Everyone's meeting people and trying to hook up with someone. Which is perfectly understandable, if not to be expected.
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Olympians are young, supremely healthy people who've been training with the intensity of combat troops for years. Suddenly they're released into a cocoon where prying reporters and overprotective parents aren't allowed. Pre-competition testosterone is running high.
Many Olympians are in tapering mode, full of excess energy because they're maintaining a training diet of up to 9, calories per day while not actually training as hard. The village becomes "a pretty wild scene, the biggest melting pot you've been in," says Eric Shanteau, an American who swam in Beijing and will be heading to London. The dining hall is among everyone's first village stops. So we look over and see two French handballers dressed only in socks, shoes, jockstraps, neckties and hats on top of a dining table, feeding one another lunch.
We're like, 'Holy cow, what is this place?
From one end of the village to the other, flags hang from windows and music blares from balconies. On the way to practice fields, "the girls are in skimpy panties and bras, the dudes in underwear, so you see what everybody is working with from the jump," says Breaux Greer, an American javelin thrower. Don't pay attention to his butt! Quickly the reality sinks in that the village is "just a magical, fairy-tale place, like Alice in Wonderland, where everything is possible," says Carrie Sheinberg, an alpine skier at the '94 Winter Games and a reporter for subsequent Olympics.
And no matter your taste, the village has got you covered.
The soccer girls? Male gymnasts? Sacramone has a few favorites of her own: "As far as best bodies, it's swimmers and water polo players, because that's an insane workout. And the track guys, they're sneaky-cute. Very serious, but when they lighten up, you're like, 'Oh, you're kind of adorable. The challenge athletes face is what to do with their urges and when. Some swear off sex until their events are done; others make it part of their pre-event routine.
American shot-putter and silver and bronze medalist John Godina thought he'd seen it all in Atlanta: late-night hookups, friends disappearing for days at a time.
But he hadn't seen anything like the dorm room in Sydney he shared with a javelin thrower, which had instantly become a revolving door of women without backstories. That randy roommate of Godina's, Greer, picks up the story: Each day, the shaggy blond was visited by three women, sometimes just hours apart -- an accomplished pole vaulter and former flame; a mighty hurdler who "tried to dominate me," Greer says; and a "very talented" vacationer from Scandinavia.
Greer says his Olympian partners were, like him, looking to "complete the Olympics training puzzle. Still, some coaches try to limit late-night activities by enforcing 11 p.
Amanda Beard, with two golds, four silvers and one bronze medal to her name, was in a relationship with another swimmer during the Games but says, "People would walk around for miles to try to sneak somewhere. Many on-the-prowl athletes maintain that they're driven by a simple human need: intimacy, if only for a moment or three. For most Olympians, the ramp-up to the Games is lonely. Not unlike movie stars on a far-flung movie shoot, the Olympics present the perfect opportunity to find a partner who understands where they're coming from.
When the hell are you supposed to meet someone? Now the pressure is done, you're meeting like-minded people Typically, the swimmers are some of the lucky ones who wrap up early. For Lochte, that typically means "hitting a local pub and drinking with the soccer hooligans," he says. But a teammate in Athens had a better idea: sex on his village balcony. I said, 'No, I'm innocent,'" Lochte says, laughing. Just outside the village are sponsors parties.
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But what most Olympians want, in the end, is to bring the party back to the village. The athlete compound soon becomes the site of an uneasy dance between jocks on a post-competition bender and those who have yet to compete. Says Swiss swimmer Dominik Meichtry: "I'd get home from the clubs at 6 or 7 a. They're getting on a bus and we're intoxicated, wearing fedoras, looking like crap. Displaced roommates become commonplace, with the standard sock-on-doorknob serving as the al for "please go away.
When they go out for a drink, it's 20 drinks. With a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you want to build memories, whether it's sexual, partying or on the field. I've seen people having sex right out in the open. On the grass, between buildings, people are getting down and dirty. Those who desire a little privacy can borrow a hotel room from their agents or visiting friends. At the Lillehammer Games intwo German bobsledders tried using their medals as currency.
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I'll play with his. One skier tells a story from the Vancouver Games inwhen six athletes -- "some Germans, Canadians and Austrians" -- got together at a home outside the Whistler village. It turned into a whirlpool orgy. Olympians are adventurers. They look for a challenge, like having sex with someone who doesn't speak their language.
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The sense of discovery can be powerful. At the Montreal Games, three-time Olympic diver and four-time gold medalist Greg Louganis, appearing in his first Olympics at age 16, developed a kinship with the boys on the Soviet Union diving team and soon found himself partying in their rooms. It was crazy," Louganis says. He was particularly struck by the Russians' sense of sexual liberation.
But I had my eyes on one Soviet. I'd curl up in his lap; we'd hug and cuddle. I felt so protected. By the eve of the closing ceremonies, all of the events have wrapped, all bets are off and the home team often hosts one hell of a party.
That was certainly the case in Sydney, where Australia's baseball and women's soccer teams threw a t bash complete with a massive bonfire. And after the men's hockey gold medal game in Vancouver, which Canada won, a dry lounge in the village exploded into a full-blown rager. And that was the PG stuff.
Then everything went inside. And then there's the one party that can't be missed: the closing ceremony. Says Ferguson: "They basically throw us all in a stadium and say, 'Just go for it, party hard, get drunk and do some groping. Somewhere in the middle of this party, typically, is America's women's soccer team, whose tournament runs the duration of the Games.