Tokyo Organizers were asked last month why they were giving condoms to athletes while also demanding they follow strict social distancing rules.
Editor’s note: This story is updated to include that Tokyo organizers have since said athletes would be given the condoms as they leave the country.
It’s been a tradition for more than 30 years at the Olympics. Games organizers give out hundreds of thousands of free condoms to athletes in the Olympic village with a message of promoting safe sex.
Once again at the Tokyo Olympics, organizers planned to give out roughly 150,000 condoms to athletes, according to reports. But athletes were also being told to basically stay away from each other due to COVID-19.
Days after the apparent contradiction was revealed, organizers reportedly announced they are giving the condoms to athletes as they are leaving the country.
One of the rules found on page 34 of the most recent Tokyo Olympics playbook given to athletes says, “Avoid unnecessary forms of contact.” It specifically examples such as hugs, handshakes and high-fives. But presumably it also means any other forms of physical contact that aren’t part of competition.
So with all that being said, how did Tokyo organizers explain giving out condoms to athletes while also telling them to, basically, not touch each other?
“The distribution of condoms is not for use at the athlete’s village, but to have athletes take them back to their home countries to raise awareness” around HIV and AIDS, organizers reportedly told Reuters on June 14.
Six days after that statement, USA TODAY reported that organizers said the condoms would be handed out when athletes are departing Tokyo.
The tradition of giving out condoms goes back to the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, at the height of the HIV and AIDS scare. That year, the number of condoms given out was 8,500, according to USA TODAY. Five years ago in Rio, it was 450,000 — partly due to efforts to curb the spread of Zika.
A 2012 expose by ESPN highlighted how much physical activity happens between Olympic athletes away from the field of play. Former U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo estimated 70-75% of Olympians had sex at the Games.
Fans will be banned from Tokyo-area stadiums and arenas after the Japanese government put the capital under a COVID-19 state of emergency because of rising new infections and the highly contagious delta variant.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Community leaders are standing by a decades-old tradition in East Austin that is facing complaints from some neighbors at a new luxury apartment complex.
Mayor Steve Adler and other council members joined the car clubs that meet at Rendon Park on Sunday. Organizers say it’s been a tradition for generations to celebrate cars, music, family and culture in an area that’s known to many as Chicano Park.
However, a high-end apartment complex was built right next to where the car clubs meet.
Some new residents there started reporting noise issues, blocked roadways and large gatherings.
The car clubs say despite the complaints, this is a part of their culture that is not going away.
“We’ve had to deal with gentrification and we’ve had to deal with this development coming in and encroaching on our community,” says Bertha Rendon Delgado, a community organizer and president of the East Town Lake Citizen’s Association. “Those complaints should not be validated because we can’t complain, we have to find a way to embrace that.”
The Weaver apartment complex sent a statement to KXAN Sunday afternoon.
“The Weaver community understands and respects the importance of the weekly car club tradition in the East Austin community. As such, no one ever speaking on behalf of the property or property management has ever asked the car clubs to move or end their Sunday gatherings. We’ve reached out to our residents, car club organizers and East Austin leaders to facilitate better understanding and help find solutions that respect all involved.”
Read the full statement from the apartment complex below:
“The Weaver community understands and respects the importance of the weekly car club tradition in the East Austin community. As such, no one ever speaking on behalf of the property or property management has ever asked the car clubs to move or end their Sunday gatherings – nor are we aware of any resident doing so.
A unique point of distinction between The Weaver and other complexes is its origins. It is part of the larger redevelopment of the RBJ Center site, which has the purpose of funding The Austin Geriatric Center’s mission to provide 500 affordable homes for seniors. We hope the community can understand the great lengths that went into gaining community support for the redevelopment’s vision, the need for affordable housing and the important role residents of The Weaver are playing to provide it.
While a few of our residents, as well as other neighbors nearby, have complained about certain issues related to the gatherings, like noise levels and blocked roadways, it is important to note the quality-of-life concerns raised are similar to those often voiced whenever large, festive gatherings are held near homes, in Austin and beyond.
We’ve reached out to our residents, car club organizers and East Austin leaders to facilitate better understanding and help find solutions that respect all involved.”