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Olympic Village: Just a little slice of Vegas, baby

August 14, 2012|By Paul Whitefield
  • The fireworks at the stadium during the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics were not the only fireworks during the Games.
The fireworks at the stadium during the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer… (Wally Sklaij / Los Angeles…)

Apparently, the gold isn’t all Olympians go for. They are also, shall we say, fond of one another.

At least, that’s the takeaway from a fascinating if somewhat salacious article in the July 23 issue of ESPN the Magazine. 

If you thought the Summer Games were an orgy of athletic achievements, well, you should’ve been at the Olympic Village. To hear ESPN tell it, that’s where the real games are.

PHOTOS: U.S. brings home the gold

It’s anyone’s guess just how sex-crazed these athletes may be. But here are some estimates, from Olympic insiders:

"There's a lot of sex going on," says women's soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo, a gold medalist in 2008. How much sex? "I'd say it's 70 percent to 75 percent of Olympians," offers world-record-holding swimmer Ryan Lochte…. "Hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do."

(Solo goes on to reveal some interesting tidbits of the ladies in Beijing. Suffice to say, she was always Hope -- but not always solo.)

And then there’s this telling statistic:

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 2000 Sydney Games, 70,000 condoms wasn't enough, prompting a second order of 20,000 and a new standing order of 100,000 condoms per Olympics.

(And, no, I don’t think they were using them as water balloons.)

Honestly, I’m glad I didn’t read this article until after the London Games’ closing ceremony. Prime-time TV and cable are already oversaturated with sex; who needs the image of randy Olympians in their heads while watching sprinting god Usain Bolt, or swimming god Michael Phelps, or the god-awful rhythmic gymnastics competition?

The Spice Girls at the closing ceremony was bad enough; I didn’t need to know about the possibility of drunken U.S. women’s soccer team players sneaking off into the dark recesses of the stadium with Russian volleyballers. (Dosvedanya, Cold War!)

Still, the whole steamy story does bring a different perspective to the idea of making the Olympians’ medal earnings tax exempt. The athletes already got a paid vacation in London. Some will go on to sign endorsement deals or otherwise parlay their fame into real cash. And, apparently, many will take with them memories that would make Cosmo's late Helen Gurley Brown blush.

So if we’re going to allow them to exempt their medal earnings, then why don’t we just go ahead and carve out a “frat party” exemption for the suffering parents of college students?

Meanwhile, there’s this sobering thought about the 2016 Summer Games.

They’ll be in Rio.


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