Denise Lewis: I eavesdropped on fellow Olympians having sex

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Spoiler: Not everyone is, in fact, having sex at the Olympic Village. 

But they might be listening. 

Winning a gold medal for Great Britain in the heptathlon might’ve kept Lewis too busy to get busy. 

Sex amongst the world’s best athletes at the top stage is nothing new though. 

The 2000 Games are notorious for almost running out of condoms. Organizers ordered 70,000 but that wasn’t enough, and 20,000 more were rushed in. 

Condoms first publicly came on the scene at the Olympics in 1988 when athletes in Seoul were given a total of 8,500 in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV.

Four years later at the Winter Olympics in Albertville, that number more than quadrupled with each athlete receiving three free condoms. But later that same year at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, the number again tripled with 90,000 condoms ordered. 

In the years following, the number has generally hovered around 100,000 despite a low of 15,000 available in Atlanta in 1996. But 20 years later, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio offered 450,000 condoms (enough for 42 per athlete!). That year, female condoms were available for the first time, as well as 175,000 packets of lube. 


Earlier this year, organizers for the 2020 Tokyo Games handed out 160,000 condoms but asked athletes to save them until after they left and even encouraged keeping them as souvenirs. Athletes were under strict COVID regulations and rumors even spread that they were given cardboard beds that would break if occupied by more than one person. 

The beds were made of cardboard, however that was part of a previously announced sustainability. And athletes made sure to prove that their beds were capable of just about anything. 

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