Many athletes have rituals they do before they go out and compete. But Canadian swimmer Santo Condorelli may have the most interesting pre-race habit: he gives his dad the middle finger.
That’s not exactly showing dear ole dad how much you appreciate him raising you to be an Olympic athlete. But Santos, who will compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics, has been flipping off his dad since he was 8-years-old (Big whoop, I’ve been doing that since I was 5-years-old, but you don’t see me getting any publicity). His dad Joseph, who is also his coach, actually came up with the idea.
“(Joseph said) ‘You’ve got to build your confidence yourself and say eff everybody else that you’re racing,” the now 21-year-old Santo explained to CBC. “He said ‘Every time you’re behind the blocks, give me the finger and I’ll give it back to you.’”
I totally understand this logic of using anger at your father as motivation. I mean girls have been sleeping with me as their motivation to get back at the fathers for years.
Santos talks about flipping the bird:
“Athletes always have that one thing that gets them going that they need to do. That happens to be mine and still is. Seeing everybody’s reaction to it has been interesting. I’m not trying to piss people off. I just put it in the middle of my forehead now. My dad is definitely giving it to me and I can see him from a mile away.”
I’m sure cameras will shy away from Condorelli before he competes in the freestyle relay, 100-meter freestyle, and the 50-meter free in Rio.
At the Men’s 100m Freestyle Final during the 2012 Speedo Junior National Championship, you see Santo give his father the one-finger salute (1:30 mark).
I feel like Santo will be giving the finger once he sees how shitty his accommodations are in Rio.