David Goldman / AP
The organizers of this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo are giving new meaning to ‘look, but don’t touch’.
The Games are typically a place where many young athletes naturally mingle, mingle, and come together.
As they have been doing since the 1980s, organizers have ordered thousands of condoms for athletes to safely connect in Tokyo. To be precise, Japanese organizers have ordered 160,000 condoms to distribute to athletes in the Olympic Village.
But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tokyo organizers also want attendees to refrain from all kind of intimate physical activity outside of their sport.
Does that mean: those condoms we gave you? Don’t use them, at least not while you’re in the Olympic bubble.
Organizers say athletes should take the condoms home as souvenirs and use them to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS. But under no uncertain conditions, participants must use them or engage in an attempted one-on-one flirtation while in Japan for the Games, organizers said.
The subject may generate laughter, but the penalties for athletes if they violate these rules are serious, as are the reasons for their implementation.
Athletes are subject to strict coronavirus control protocols as Tokyo and other parts of Japan are in a state of emergency due to COVID-19. They must follow social distancing guidelines and adhere to bans on handshakes, high fives and other types of close physical contact, according to the regulations.
Any participant who breaks the rules risks fines, disqualification and loss of Olympic medals if they are found to be repeat offenders. If the athletes choose to violate the rules of privacy, they will also have to deal with the small cardboard beds that are provided to the Olympians.