Olympic condoms auctioned: "faster, higher, stronger"

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sports memorabilia collector Zhao Xiaokai has amassed 5,000 condoms left over from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and is offering them for sale at auction. Each condom is stamped with the motto of the Olympics in English and in Chinese: "faster, higher, stronger". The Beijing Olympics condoms are offered for sale as part of an auction of Olympic memorabilia. Starting price is one yuan, which is equivalent to US$0.15 or £0.08. The condoms will be sold as a batch.

Participating nations in 2008 Summer Olympics
Image: Gradient drift.
"The move is to grab the attention of the public to promote the awareness of safe sex and the prevention of HIV/Aids."

—Guo Lei, Sport Collection of China Collector Association

The 5,000 Olympic condoms are the remainder of a 100,000 production run that were distributed free of charge to athletes who competed in the games. Olympic organizers have been providing free condoms to athletes since the Barcelona Olympics of 1992.

This is the first time that condoms have been sold at public auction in China. Guo Lei of the Sport Collection of China Collector Association, which hosts the auction, told the press that the condom portion of the auction is intended to raise public awareness of HIV and AIDS, although he also expressed concerns that potential buyers may be too embarrassed to bid.

Zhao Xiaokai is offering several other items for sale in the same auction, including an Olympic torch signed by Brazilian footballer Pelé. Neither the collector nor the auction organizers have disclosed which athletes provided the unused condoms.