Sex And The Olympic City: What Athletes Are Doing After Hours

09/22/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Matthew Syed The Times

I am often asked if the Olympic village - the vast restaurant and housing conglomeration that hosts the world's top athletes for the duration of the Games - is the sex-fest it is cracked up to be. My answer is always the same: too right it is. I played my first Games in Barcelona in 1992 and got laid more often in those two and a half weeks than in the rest of my life up to that point. That is to say twice, which may not sound a lot, but for a 21-year-old undergraduate with crooked teeth, it was a minor miracle.

Barcelona was, for many of us Olympic virgins, as much about sex as it was about sport. There were the gorgeous hostesses - there to assist the athletes - in their bright yellow shirts and black skirts; there were the indigenous lovelies who came to watch the competitions. And then there were the female athletes - literally thousands of them - strutting, shimmying, sashaying and jogging around the village, clad in Lycra and exposing yard upon yard of shiny, toned, rippling and unimaginably exotic flesh. Women from all the countries of the world: muscular, virile, athletic and oozing oestrogen. I spent so much time in a state of lust that I could have passed out.

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About the extraordinary number of condoms Beijing health officials have given away.