2022 Winter Olympics: Free condoms available, but hugs and handshakes are to be avoided Asha C. GilbertUSA TODAY
Free condoms will be available at the 2022 Winter Beijing Olympics, although organizers want athletes to walk a tight rope when interacting with others and avoid hugs and handshakes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"All Olympic-related units will provide appropriate quantities of condoms for free at the appropriate time to people who've checked in to stay inside the loop," organizers told Reuters via email.
According to the Olympics playbook, athletes are to minimize physical interactions and stay within the "closed loop" to curb the spread of the virus while competing.
The games are set to start on Friday, and athletes from all over the world will compete in 15 different sports until Feb. 20.
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Sex and mingling among the athletes have been notorious at the Olympic Village where athletes are housed.
"There’s a lot of sex going on," Hope Solo, the two-time gold medaling soccer player, told ESPN in 2012.
Organizers passed out 450,000 condoms at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as they sought to curb the spread of the Zika virus. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, organizers handed out 150,000 condoms but only as a parting gift.
There were also rumors the beds at the Tokyo Olympics were "anti-sex" after some athletes claimed the cardboard material they were made of could only hold one person.
The rumor was debunked by organizers who said the beds could support 441 pounds of weight in a press release.
Condoms started being distributed at the Olympics in 1988 to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS.