Rio de Janeiro, Aug 8 (IANS) Imagine a son sticking out his middle finger to his father in front of the whole world. Well, that is exactly what Canadian Olympic swimmer Santo Condorelli has been doing but only to “build confidence”.

Sports figures across the globe have fallen into routines, habits, and superstitions that they believe are necessary to psyche them up and Condorelli is no different. But what makes it interesting is he has been doing this since the age of eight and the ritual was suggested by none other than his father, Joseph.

Frustrated at getting beaten by older competitors, Joseph asked his child swimmer son to “give the finger and I will give it back to you” as a means to build confidence.

While the ritual has often landed Condorelli in trouble and he even has had to apologise in the past, that hasn’t deterred the son-father duo from doing the ritual in the grand arena of the Rio Games.

Flaunting the ‘rainbow’ on his trunks

He is “different” and “takes pride in that difference”. Tongan Olympic swimmer Amini Fonua enjoys being an out-and-out gay and has been proudly wearing that label on his swimsuit.

Competing at his second Olympics in Rio, Fonua has been sporting a swimsuit that has the words “gay” and “lesbian” printed on it.

Gifted by an organisation promoting LGBT, Fonua has been donning the trunks during practices and posted pictures with it on social networks.

“It’s a gentle reminder to everybody that I am different and take pride in that difference,” says the 26-year-old.

The Olympic Nan

While champion British swimmer Adam Peaty is the toast of the nation after delivering the country’s first gold at the Rio Games, in the virtual world, it is his grandmother Mavis Williams who is gathering accolades for posting a series of adorable tweets supporting her 21-year-old grandson.

Introduced to twitter at the ripe age of 74, Mavis has been gaining popularity on the micro-blogging site chronicling Adam Peaty’s Olympic journey.

Describing herself as “Proud Nan to a World Champion Breaststroker”, Marvis, who joined twitter only in April, has seen her followers swirl to over 3,000 since she started posting Peaty’s every move in the build-up to the Rio Games.


    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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