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Sex can wait, athletes eager to play

other Updated: Oct 03, 2010 07:25 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times
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How do 3500 athletes relax when they are not sweating it out in the tracks? Letting their hair down and shaking a leg with the local school children dancers at the Games Village's international zone is an option.

Most, however, just prefer to get plugged to their iPods, wear shades and bask in the sun. Just don't mention sex to them.

This Commonwealth Games, the athletes just want to focus on their performance. Further queries did prompt candid admissions that sex wasn't going to be totally overlooked, but it can definitely wait. Everyone, however, agreed that fornicating doesn't improve or influence an athlete's performance in any way.

“You would want to stack up on all the energy you could afford to because you need every bit of that while you are playing,” said South African netball player Christine Bootha. “Why would you want to waste all that behind sex?” the 27-year-old said, tongue-in-cheek. Bootha refused to believe that sex improves performance on the court. “Nope, no way,” she said.

England swimmer Simon Burnett, however, admitted that it was not unnatural for athletes to 'have fun once in a while' but added it happens only at the fag end of a multi-discipline event. “Now we want to focus on the Commonwealth Games. We have trained so hard for this. So once we are almost through with our events, you expect people to go out and have fun,” said the 27-year-old.

Precautions, however, are a must. And though most of the athletes didn't recall coming across any condom vending machine at the residence blocks of the Games Village, the team doctor is one whom they trust the most regarding contraceptives.

“I haven't been here long but so far I haven't seen any vending machines at our blocks. There might be some though but I'm not so sure. But the norm is that the team doctor supplies the athletes with condoms because everyone is very particular about their health,” said Burnett.

But despite the cover provided by the team doctors, some would rather keep off sex. Case in point is Canadian swimmer Genevieve Saumur. Quite a head-turner, the 23-year-old patiently gave her opinion on sex and sports but then came the volte-face. “To be very honest, I don't need it,” she grinned, flashing a shining rock on her finger.