No one wants to get Scotty Lago-ed. The halfpipe bronze medalist was asked to leave after this photo was taken of the snowboarder getting his medal, uh, “polished.” When these photos appeared on TMZ.com, the USSA asked Lago to leave.
Today, the big salacious news is about the condom count. About 100,000 rubbers have been supplied to the 6,850 athletes and coaching staff in Whistler and Vancouver. That’s about 30,000 more domes than the number issued at the Sydney games, when athletes required 20,000 more reinforcements. Last Olympics, of the 100,000 at Beijing, just 5,000 went unused.
Let's do some higher, faster, stronger math: 100,000 condoms divided by 6,850 athletes is about 15 condoms each. Since Alberto Tomba no longer competes, we can assume that one condom will serve two athletes at a time. That's two condoms a day for two weeks and a lot of Facebook damage control.
But since the Lago medal-burnishing incident, the athletes seem to be behaving a little more conservatively, a wise call considering every guy with an iPhone thinks he’s Annie Leibovitz. Now that everyone is on officially mandated good behavior, perhaps the slapping together of nether parts is going down behind army-secured doors at the athlete village. Not that any of us would ever know this was going down any more.
Lago aside, the athletes are keeping their privates, and private lives, private. Canadian snowboard cross gold medalist Maelle Ricker showed up to watch the men’s GS today but did so as inconspicuously as possible because the media had begun following her every move. Wearing all black, Ricker had her hat pulled low and enormous sunglasses covering most of her face. Her life had instantly changed. She said she’d spent the previous night drinking with astronauts. (“All I was doing was concentrating on thinking of smart things to say,” she said.) At the GS, she was the picture of calm and professionalism.
Same goes for Maya Pedersen, Switzerland’s gold medalist for skeleton at Torino. Dressed in her official team regalia, she sat at the Salomon store near the base of the Whistler gondola, pulling on rented ski boots. “The athlete village is pretty quiet,” she said. “We know that there are lots of athletes still to compete and we are all respectful. So we come to the village and party instead. It’s been very fun for us.”
The athletes need only remember one thing: All it takes for anonymity is removing a team jacket. Here’s hoping that more of them remember to do so. God forbid you should actually enjoy yourself when you’re at the top of your game, you’re as fit as you’ll ever be, and a throbbing mound of good DNA hands you a room key.