The Unofficial Olympic Sport

Athlete

For two weeks, the world watched as the Summer Olympics took center stage. In the midst of the daily news of politics, crime and dismal economic stats, I thoroughly enjoyed stories of trials and triumphs, determination and beating the odds. The Olympics give us an opportunity to focus on some of the more positive attributes in the world: a steadfast willpower, dedication, strength and endurance—both physically and mentally. Yet, as we celebrated the achievements
of these talented athletes, there was another not-so-wholesome celebration taking place behind the scenes. Many of those who are considered the best in the world have taken an unfortunate fall from grace off the pedestal of morality.

In addition to the performance on the field, several media outlets reported on the recreational activities that the public didn’t get to see. When it was revealed that 100,000 condoms would be on-hand in the Olympic Village, there was no shortage of distasteful headlines:

  • CBSSports.com declared, Olympic sex craze: Where the Games really begin
  • ESPN The Magazine posed the question, Will you still medal in the morning? The real games in the Olympic Village will not be televised
  • Even Forbes.com chimed in with, Who Will Win The Sex Olympics?

Unfortunately, the athletes were no better. Women’s soccer goalkeeper, Hope Solo said, “There’s a lot of sex going on. I’d say it’s 70 to 75 percent of Olympians.” Gold-medalist, swimmer, Ryan Lochte said, “My last Olympics, I had a girlfriend—big mistake. Now I’m single, so London should be really good.” Later, his mother was quoted as stating, “He goes out on one-night stands. He’s not able to give fully to a relationship because he’s always on the go.” The comment was later refuted as a misunderstanding; however a precedence had already been set depicting the Olympic athletes as promiscuous. The question is: where does that leave those athletes who choose not to partake of such a lifestyle?

Unfortunately, 30-year-old Olympic hurdler, Lolo Jones, is finding that her virginity may be the biggest hurdle she faced in these Summer Games. She has been upfront about her Christian beliefs and her commitment to abstinence. After Jones came in fourth place in the 100-meter hurdles, she faced a backlash of degrading insults, claiming that if she’d been sexually active, perhaps she would have performed better at the Olympics. While most are too vulgar to share, here’s just a sampling of the comments this young woman faced:

  • One Twitter post said, “Lolo Jones should’ve had sex before that race. Bet none of the hurdlers that finished top 3 are virgins” and used the hash-tag #SexIsForWinners
  • An article about Lolo Jones in the New York Times stated, “Limited opportunities are there for women to gain a foothold unless they sell themselves as sex kittens or virgins for sale.”
  • Fellow abstinent athlete, Tim Tebow was reportedly teased by his New York Jets teammates over his virginity, as he was met by chants of “Lolo! Lolo!” when he entered the locker room.

While many of Lolo’s cohorts paraded their sexual conquests and received praise from the media, she remained true to her values and was persecuted. She shared this revealing statement, “If there’s virgins out there, I just want to let them know, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Harder than training for the Olympics, harder than graduating from college, has been to stay a virgin before marriage.”

What does this say about our culture? These young people embrace an extreme heightened sense of discipline when it comes to training their bodies for an athletic event. Yet, when one of them chooses to exercise such discipline in the realm of sexual purity, it is ridiculed. Isn’t it ironic that freedom of “choice” is so often trumpeted by the media, yet this young woman’s choice is mocked?

To call it hypocrisy is an understatement. As a parent, I’ve been faced with the question of why those who choose purity face such abrasive opposition. This is what I shared with my sons, “At any moment you could choose to live like them; however they can never again be like you.” As pro-lifers, it is important that we recognize there’s an irrefutable relationship between those who promote sexual promiscuity and the consequential services of abortion. Planned Parenthood’s position is, “The solution . . . is to teach young people how to experience sexual pleasure instead of teaching them not to have sex.”

We must commit to abstinence education because it works! It is the only way to avoid unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease—plus the emotional fallout of premarital sex. And we can empower our children to know that they possess an incredible gift in virginity. While bombarded by sexual messages in the media, it’s our role to instill in young people that their self-worth far exceeds any false claim of the “pro-casual sex” agenda. Let’s raise a generation that will respect not only their own lives, but all LIFE.

Bradley Mattes
President, Life Issues Institute

Life Issues Institute is dedicated to changing hearts and minds of millions of people through education. For 25 years, organizations and individuals around the world have depended upon Life Issues Institute to provide the latest information and effective tools to protect innocent human life from womb to tomb.

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