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IOC to give Olympic Village athletes condoms despite COVID-19 pandemic

The tradition continues at the Winter Games in Beijing.

A staff member carries condoms to refill delivering machine at the Polyclinic of the Olympic and Paralympic Village for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 23, 2016. Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images

A tradition unlike any other has returned to the Olympic Games: The athletes of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Village will once again receive the traditional condoms during their time in China.

You might not be familiar with this tradition unlike any other, but it dates back to the Seoul Games of 1988 when the International Olympic Committee decided that handing out prophylactics would be a good way to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS.

Now the athletes often look forward to this free gift as much as any other, sometimes ransacking the machines in the common areas and having them need to be refilled multiple times a day. Which makes sense considering the Olympic Village is basically a Tinder app theme park come to life with college dorms for everyone.

The athletes of the Summer Games in Tokyo in 2021 were also given the souvenirs, but only after leaving the Village because of Covid-19 and a desire to keep people as socially distant as possible. But that won’t be the case in Beijing, and the Organizing Committee even gave the residents some particularly lovely beds for this Olympiad.

Carry on, the youth of the world. Carry on, indeed.