What Happens in Beijing, Stays in Beijing?
He used to play table tennis…now, he writes. Matthew Syed has penned what I think, is one of the most entertaining pieces to come from the Olympics. We’ve seen some crazy things happening in Beijing. Scary, possible under-aged Chinese soldiers manufactured specifically for the Games, thousands of displaced and oppressed workers, Free Tibet protesters, Free Darfur activists, lip-singing at the opening ceremonies, real-fake fireworks, dropped relay wands, broken hopes, amazing victories and yes, dear god, some mighty-mighty fine Olympic bodies.
I know what I imagined was going on with our world-class athletes who’ve waited four-years to strut their testosterone fueled, chiseled, toned and flawless physiques in front of the world alongside others who have gathered for the ultimate pent-up-release-of-see-what-I-got glory imaginable. Sex. And lots of it.
Thankfully, Matthew Syed has been front and center in the Olympic Village (and this isn’t his first time)…his piece in the Times explains why “An Olympic gold medal is not merely a route to fame and fortune; it is also a surefire ticket to writhe.” As in writhe under the sheets together. Oddly enough, Syed also says that “Success does not work both ways. Gold-medal winning female athletes are not looked upon by male athletes with any more desire than those who flunked out in the first round. It is sometimes even considered a defect.”
I especially loved the image Syed congers here: “It is a common sight to see recently knocked-out athletes gorging on Magnums and McDonald’s, swilling alcohol and, of course, shagging like crazy. Sometimes all three at the same time.” Magnums, McDonald’s and booze? What degree of difficulty is that feet and who earned the gold for it? Granted, its not as if Magnums and McDonald’s escaped our minds as we watched the men’s track and field events or swimming, but never at the same time. I mean, give me some Sweet Melon and Mag’s, mixed with a bit of booze and I’m all set, but lets leave the McNuggets alone unless they’re from Denver. (Check out the photo top right-after you take your eyes off the obvoius, notice the background legs-even those two didn’t waste a moment.)
More from Syed and his article: ‘This sex fest was not limited to Barcelona: the same thing happened in Sydney in 2000, my second Olympics as an athlete, and is happening right here in Beijing, where this time I’m a commentator. I spoke to an Aussie table tennis player this week to check out the village vibe and he launched into the breathless patter common to any Olympic debutant: “It is unbelievable in there; everyone is totally crazy once they are out of their competitions. God knows what it is going to be like this weekend. It is like a world within a world.” A British runner (anonymous again: athletes are not supposed to talk to journalists unaccompanied by a PR type, least of all about sex) said: “The swimmers finished earlier in the week and it was like there was an eruption.” ‘
- There is a famous story from Seoul in 1988 that there were so many used condoms on the roof terrace of the British team’s residential block the night after the swimming concluded that the British Olympic Association sent out an edict banning outdoor sex. Here in Beijing, organizers have realized that such prohibitions are about as useful as banning breathing and have, instead, handed out thousands of free condoms to the athletes. If you can’t stop ‘em, at least make it safe.
Read Syeds piece here and enjoy the closing ceremonies this weekend. I suspect if you do, you’ll be watching through a new set of rose-colored steamy glasses.
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As always, thanks for reading.