160,000 free condoms for Tokyo Olympic athletes, but only if they bring it home to use

PHOTO: Reuters

As per Olympics tradition, athletes competing in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be provided with free condoms during their stay at the Olympic Village. This year, however, there's a catch.

The athletes are to bring home these condoms as a souvenir and only put them to their intended use after they've stepped on home soil, the Tokyo Organising Committee announced on Thursday (May 27).

This comes after concerns were raised about how the traditional distribution of condoms seemed to encourage close physical proximity during a pandemic.

"Our intent and goal are not for athletes to use the condoms at the Olympic Village," the committee explained.

Citing the International Olympic Committee (IOC), they added that the purpose of the condoms was to raise awareness regarding sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and Aids. It was also under the IOC's instructions that they kept to this tradition.

Four domestic condom manufacturers will each produce 40,000 condoms for the athletes. As to how to distribute all 160,000 condoms, discussions are still underway.

The Tokyo Olympics will commence on July 23. No international fans will be allowed to spectate the games due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

rainercheung@asiaone.com