Argentine Olympians will be able to go for the gold in more ways than one, as the Brazilian Ministry of Health has given out a whopping 9 million condoms for the Rio Olympics being inaugurated today.
The practice of giving out condoms at the Olympics began at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, when a mere 8,500 condoms were given out to the 8,391 athletes participating. That number has steadily increased through the years. 450,000 of these will be sent to the Olympic Village, with an estimated 42 condoms available for each athlete during the 17 days of the events. To understand the bump in this colossal number, let’s look at some previous figures: In London, the number of condoms that were given out came to about 150,000 for 10,768 athletes. During Carnival this past year, 5 million condoms were given out. Now, although the number of athletes remains more or less the same, the number has tripled.
Dr. Adele Benzaken, the director of the Department of Sexually Transmitted diseases, HIV-AIDS and Viral Hepatitis at the Ministry of Health, spoke with La Nacíon about whether this jump in the number of condoms being distributed is a result of Zika concerns, and if it has anything to do with Brazil’s reputation as a “sexy” country. (I mean, we are talking about the birthplace of a gazillion of Victoria’s Secret models).
“I do not know if Cariocas have a more active sex life, and I don’t think that Brazilians have more or less sex than other nationalities, we are speaking in a very open and direct way about sexual matters. The recommendation for all the world is the same, without mention of how much or how little sex you have: if you have a casual sexual relationship with someone, use a condom. Our concern is for all sexually transmitted diseases: gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, syphilis, and now also with the risk of Zika, as there is scientific evidence that can be spread through sexual contact.” Benzaken also stressed that Brazil is experiencing an epidemic of syphilis at the moment due to a shortage in penicillin.
In the Athletes Village in Barra de Tijuca near Olympic Park, there are 41 “condom vending machines,” which give out 350,000 male condoms, 100,000 female, and 175,000 sachets of lubricant.
“There are no official reports on sex in the Olympic Village, but athletes are young, beautiful people, in excellent physical condition and sex is a natural thing that happens when there are many people together,” said an official.
US football player Hope Solo said of the atmosphere during the last games in London “people were having sex outdoors, between buildings, everywhere.”
In London, Tinder and Grindr became such overused applications that they both suffered from malfunctions. A new application called “The Olympic Athletes Hub” will be up and running during the games. While anyone can follow the activities of the Rio athletes, only the athletes, ex-Olympians in Rio can use it like Tinder, matching up with others in the city.
“Download the app, put in your data and number and enter. It’s like a social network but only for hunting. Some people are direct, others aren’t and some want Romance.” said an athlete who did not want to be named. The users put up profile pictures that typically show what sport they play, and they’re all set to mingle.
Catia Gonçalves, manager of the clinic within the village, said that “the important thing is to be prepared for sexual activity so that it does not affect health or performance. In addition to condoms we also have morning-after pill, for women to ensure they do not become pregnant.”
Any Argentines looking to travel to Rio for the Olympics to cheer on the National Team have been cautioned by the Argentine Health Ministry to remain abstinent or use protection while having sex in Rio. They have also said for Argies not to give blood for up to four weeks after returning to Argentina.