London: The 10,500 athletes competing at the London Games have been handed out a record number of 150,000 condoms — an average of 15 per athlete — in an indication of the off-field activities of competitors at the Olympics.
The Games organisers have packed the free condoms -- reportedly 50,000 more than Beijing Olympics -- into dispensers around the venues this year.
The idea that sex can impair physical performance has gripped popular imagination for centuries. However, much to the delight of the sporting fraternity, some recent studies have shown the belief has no scientific basis.
A review of scientific studies on the issue published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine suggested sex the night before competition has no effect on physiological test results.
For years coaches and athletes have practised abstinence the night, or even weeks, before a big event. "Nothing after Wednesday if you're playing on Saturday," was the mantra preached to British football players in the 1970s.
But experts feel the belief has yet to be explored fully. Experts from McGill University in Canada say that so far, having sex has not been found to reduce physical strength, power or endurance. There have been no tests to prove it affects psychological performance.
Worthy 'hair' apparent!
Italian Olympic gold medallist fencer Aldo Montano has an unusual way of paying tribute to his grandfather, also an Olympian medallist. The junior Montano has bleached the words 'God Save The Queen' into his hair.
Though, the 33-year-old's haircut looks normal enough from the front, on the back are the words from the anthem of the Commonwealth realms.
"It has been done in memory of my grandfather, Aldo, who died in 1996. He was an Olympic fencer and won a silver medal," said Montano.
"So this is just my way to honour him and London at the same time. I love London and they are putting on an excellent Games. I am proud to be here and proud to be enjoying London," added Montano.
Montano's grand father, also named Aldo, won a silver medal in the team sabre event at the 1936 and 1948 Summer Olympic. His father Mario Aldo Montano won a gold and two silver medals in the team sabre event at the 1972, 1976 and 1980 Games.
Unfortunately for Montano, who won a gold medal at the 2004 Athens games as well as at World Championship fencing 2011, he was knocked out of the London Games following his loss to fellow Italian Diego Occhiuzzi.
Though streaking may not be an entirely British phenomenon, it has surely become a tradition. However, the organisers of the London Games have ensured that those looking to bare flesh for the sake of hilarity will have their pockets heavily pinched.
Anyone streaking at this year's Games will be fined up to 20,000 pounds.
Streaking has become a fairly common occurrence and rarely does a major sporting event go by without the minor disruption of a display of nakedness. Wimbledon, The Ashes and the Snooker Championships have all experienced their fair share of attention-seeking, flesh-bearing individuals.
The first reported streaker at a major sporting event was in 1974, at Twickenham during an England versus France rugby union game.
Mark Roberts is Britain's most prolific streaker, taking his naked exploits worldwide.
Roberts has streaked across sporting arenas more than 500 times, targeting events like Mr. Universe contest, a Miss World contest, tennis matches, and the synchronized swimming world championship in Barcelona.
The London Games had its share of streaking when the Olympics Torch relay was hijacked by a naked man who had 'Free Tibet' emblazoned on his back and tried to run alongside, when British Olympian rower Steve Redgrave was to carry the torch.
Updated Date: Aug 02, 2012 18:05 PM