Yes, Athletes Will Still Get Condoms Despite Sex Ban at Tokyo Olympics
Organizers have been trying hard to prevent athletes from spreading COVID-19 at the Tokyo Olympics, but what's the deal with condoms at Olympic Village?
The Summer Olympic Games have been the source of much discussion as the Tokyo games begin, but one of the most controversial subjects surrounding the upcoming Olympics seems to be ... the athletes having sex. First, there was the Olympic Village bed controversy, and now, there appears to be an Olympic Village condom debate. Here's everything we know about what's going down at the Olympic Village.
In the past, Olympians were given condoms when they arrived at Olympic Village.
The distribution of condoms to athletes was a tradition that started in 1988 to spread awareness of HIV and AIDS. Since then, the number of condoms distributed specifically for the Olympics has skyrocketed. USA Today reports that in 1988, only 8,500 condoms were distributed to athletes, but at the Rio Summer Olympics in Brazil, over 450,000 condoms were made available to athletes.
During the Rio Olympics, condoms were distributed ahead of the games. They were also placed in dispensers available in every food hall and lounge around the Olympic Village. While the reason behind the distribution was reportedly to stop the spread of the Zika virus, the Olympic Village is a rumored party hub, so condoms are a safety precaution. During the Tokyo Olympics, this approach will change.
Unlike the previous Summer Olympics, the 150,000 condoms allotted for the 11,000 Olympic athletes will be given out after the games are finished. Takashi Kitajima, the village general manager, explained in a press conference, "The distribution of condoms is not to use in the village."
USA Today further reports, "The athletes will be asked to bring the condoms back to their home countries to increase awareness about HIV and AIDS." While this is in line with previous Olympics messaging, it also leaves fans wondering what will happen with the lack of available protection — social distancing is still encouraged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there's always someone who doesn't follow the rules.
The International Olympic Committee banned physical contact between athletes in February 2021.
To host an Olympic Games during a pandemic, the International Olympic Committee formed a playbook of rules meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus while athletes are competing. However, the Committee faced backlash after it was announced in February 2021 that one of the rules specifically banned athletes from having physical contact with one another.
A summary provided by People says that "physical contact" extends to even innocuous behaviors such as "hugs, handshakes, and high-fives." The penalty for noncompliance with the rules is removal from the Olympic Games, which seems like a steep price to pay for something as innocent as a high-five.
The Olympic Village has a reputation for being a hub for wild behavior, but hopefully, this year, in the name of safety, the Village will be less chaotic. It's clear that the International Olympic Committee hasn't put these rules in place to be harsh but to keep athletes healthy because they aren't required to be vaccinated.