Two days ago Times Online guy Matthew Syed posted the most unusual and amusing article I’ve read anywhere about the Beijing Olympics, called “Sex and the Olympic City.” It’s actually a kind of a history piece — an acknowledgement of the “furnace of sexual energy” that Olympic athletes have revelled in for decades, and perhaps (who knows?) centuries.
“Why do sportsmen and women have such explosive libidos?,” he asks. “I am not implying, for one moment, that every athlete in Beijing is at it. Just that 99 per cent of them are.” Would the TV guys ever touch this subject with a 20-foot pole? Would MSNBC’s bubbly right-wing Olympics anchorperson Tamron Hall even joke about it?
“It is worth noting an intriguing dichotomy between the sexes in respect of all this coupling,” Syed writes. “The chaps who win gold medals — even those as geeky as Michael Phelps — are the principal objects of desire for many female athletes. There is something about sporting success that makes a certain type of woman go crazy — smiling, flirting and sometimes even grabbing at the chaps who have done the business in the pool or on the track. An Olympic gold medal is not merely a route to fame and fortune; it is also a surefire ticket to writhe.”