SALT LAKE CITY – A decision to give away complimentary condoms at the Olympic Village has irked some Christian conservatives.
The Olympics should be about "virtues, like the spirit of unity and sportsmanship, not recreational sex, not even safe sex," said Brandi Swindell, director of Generation Life, an anti-abortion group that also opposes premarital sex.
The Salt Lake Organizing Committee announced last April that 12,000 condoms would be among the perks offered world-class athletes living in the village.
SLOC spokeswoman Caroline Shaw said that the International Olympic Committee does not require that condoms be available. But she said one of the Games' priorities was protecting the health and safety of athletes. "We consider it a good public health practice," she said.
Cardinal Health, the Olympics' official supplier of drugs and medical supplies, donated the condoms.
Condoms were made available at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney and were so popular that the village struggled to keep them stocked. Officials said, however, that the condom crunch had little to do with relations between athletes. In some countries, high-quality condoms aren't widely available.
But Swindell contended that condoms encourage sexual promiscuity: "This is simply appalling."
"These (protesters) are missing the boat," said Adam Glickman, chief executive of Condomania, a Los Angeles condom store. "Condoms, when distributed with educational material, have been shown to decrease sexual promiscuity.
"If the Salt Lake village runs out of condoms, let me know. I'll send a shipment," Glickman said. "We've even got them in red, white and blue."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.