It’s party time for Olympic athletes

U.S. Women\'s National Team goalie Hope Solo doing what she does best. (AP)

LONDON – “Sex And The City” move over. Here comes “Sex In The Village.” Make that athletes village. As in Olympics.

Tales of shenanigans at the living quarters for 10,000 super-fit young men and women have always abounded, and London doesn’t look as if it will be any different.

U.S. women’s soccer star Hope Solo recently dished about serious partying at the Beijing Games, and some newly arrived athletes say they can hardly wait for the fun to begin.

“The Olympics is the height of your career, so you might do some things you don’t usually do,” British beach volleyball player Shauna Mullin said with a giggle Wednesday.

Most, like Mullin, will restrain from going too far, aware they’re in the international spotlight.

Still, there’s no need to be prudish, according to the man overseeing the health of the Brazilian team.

“(Sex) is common at the Olympics. It’s necessary. It’s natural,” Dr. Joao Olyntho Machado Neto said. “If you are going to be healthy people, why not make sex? … Brazil is very tolerant with sex as a country. We don’t have Victorian minds and we’re not religious.”

Ivory Coast swimmer Kouassi Brou was one of the youngest competitors in Beijing at 16, but he’s grown up now.

And ready for some Olympic love.

“In 2008 I was so young and so shy, so I didn’t interact with the women,” the 20-year-old Brou said. “But now I’m a big man. So I can try. I will try.”

And he’s clear about his ambitions.

“If they are beautiful, it’s OK,” he said.

Thousands of free condoms will be available. Organizers have heard enough about village antics from previous games to know there will be heavy demand by athletes for contraception.

Solo recalled seeing competitors having sex out in the open in Beijing.

“On the grass, between buildings, people are getting down and dirty,” the 2008 gold medalist told ESPN The Magazine recently.

Still, her revelations startled some athletes interviewed in the athletes village on Wednesday.

“It’s not something I’ve seen at all. … Maybe I wasn’t up on the right nights,” Australian canoeist Warwick Draper said. “It’s not something I think you’d expect to see in the village.”

Mullin knows how she would react to anything racy: “I’m pretty sure if I see it I’ll end up laughing.”

Wild parties in athletes villages are not new. Many of them live in a world where every move is followed by the media and they’re delighted to unwind in the privacy of the village, where the outside world is excluded.

Ask fencer Kanae Ikehata about bed hopping between the apartment buildings, and her blushing cheeks turn even more red.

“I am Japanese,” she said, suggesting her compatriots’ behavior is more elegant than others.

“I’ll only look,” she added while shopping for Olympic merchandise. But maybe the amorous couples Solo spotted outdoors in Beijing had the right idea.

Fitting just one person into the beds provided for Olympians in London is proving to be a problem in itself.

“As an athlete you have to relax, get a little bit of space … but here it is tight and the beds are too small,” said Sierra Leone sprinter Ibrahim Turay. “It is a bit difficult for me to lie down.”

There’s also not much privacy.

“It’s pretty tight for us. I’m sharing one room with my coach and there are four rooms in one apartment, with one toilet, so we have to figure out how to use the toilet,” Turay said.

There won’t be much party time for Turay. His events go nearly until the end. The closing ceremony is Aug. 12.

He hopes others can keep the sound levels down.

“I just have to keep myself away from the crowd, the noisy distractions,” he said.

— Rob Harris can be reached at http://twitter.com/RobHarris

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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