(Written and submitted by Tristan Dorn)
Over the years, the Olympics have inspired viewers to get off the couch and try new activities. The athletes that compete in elite sports are at peak physical fitness. Their actions both on and off the Olympic stage have become widely discussed topics during the course of the games. Their sexual activity is no exception.
The Olympic village has become synonymous with copious amounts of sex among the world’s most physically fit performers. 450,000 prophylactics, including both male and female condoms, were delivered to the Olympic venues in Rio for the Summer 2016 Olympic Games (Harper, 2016). The tradition of making condoms available to athletes and officials involved in the games began in 1988 when the International Olympic Committee provided 8,500 condoms for participants in Seoul, South Korea’s Olympic Games (Allen, 2016). The discussion surrounding condom use continued to grow in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 when the initial amount of 70,000 condoms was used up by the end of the first week.
Safe sex has become an even larger discussion in Rio due to the widespread Zika epidemic that finds Brazil at its epicenter. The 450,000 physical contraceptive barriers available in Rio vastly outnumber the 100,000 condoms available at the London Summer Olympics 4 years ago. Condoms, both male and female types, protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Zika can be transmitted from person to person via body secretions. Although obtaining the condoms is the responsibility of each individual, the contraceptives are free to athletes, volunteers and event officials in vending machine style dispensers (Rogers, 2016).
The IOC is actually quite smart in their decision to make safe sex available to the Olympic participants. The inclusion of both male and female style condoms puts power in both men and women to engage in safe sex practices, and is a step towards equality that is seldom seen on such a large stage. Male condoms prevent body fluids of the penis from mixing with fluids of the vagina, anus, or mouth. It also limits some areas of skin to skin contact. This helps prevent the transmission of HIV and most STDs. In a discussion with Yahoo Sports, Johnny Weir stated “I really applaud the IOC for keeping everyone safe and wrapping it up” (Wyshynski, 2016).
The discussion for safe sex does not end with the Olympics. Protection from sexually transmitted infections is important for everyone and being proactive with the use of contraceptives is the best resource to protect an individual’s sexual health. For anyone currently, or open to the opportunity to engage in sexual activities, it is important to practice safe sex to maintain their current health, as well as help ensure long term health.
Although college students may not be as sexually active as Olympic athletes, it is important for young adults to make responsible decisions regarding their sexual health. The UTD Student Wellness Center is dedicated to the health of the students. They offer “Condom Kits” to students for free pick up in their office, which includes condoms, lubricant, and proper condom instructions. https://www.facebook.com/utd.wellness/
The UTD Student Wellness Center has a website page dedicated to sexual health. It covers materials such as how to use a condom, common sexually transmitted diseases, and STD testing. This information can be found at http://www.utdallas.edu/studentwellness/sexual/
Allen, H., and Varanasi, L.(2016, May 23). Gold, Silver, Bronze, Latex. Slate. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/fivering_circus/2016/05/a_history_of_condoms_in_the_olympic_village_from_8_500_in_seoul_to_450_000.html
Harper, T. (2016, August 5). A brief history of sex at the Olympic Games. Fox News. http://www.foxsports.com.au/olympics/a-brief-history-of-sex-at-the-olympic-games/news-story/1533b3a96459aba6b64ff986df91a500
Rogers, M. (2016, August 3). Plenty of Action at Rio Olympics, Which is Why There are 450,000 Condoms. USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/rio-2016/2016/08/03/rio-olympics-450000-condoms-athletes-village/88039680/
Student Wellness Center. (n.d.). Sexual Health. Office of Student Affairs: Student Wellness Center. Retrieved from http://www.utdallas.edu/studentwellness/sexual/
Wyshynski, G. (2016, August 8). Are 450,000 Rio Olympic Condoms Actually Enough? We Asked Athletes. Yahoo Sports. Retrieved from http://sports.yahoo.com/news/are-450000-rio-olympic-condoms-actually-enough-we-asked-athletes-154226772.html