While other swimmers listen to music or retreat peacefully before the competition, Canadian Santo Condorelli spreads his middle finger to the audience. What amazes the audience is the inevitable part of a 21-year-old race – here you can find out why.
What did you get in this swimmer? Canadian Santo Condorelli stands on the edge of the pool and shows his middle finger to the crowd.
The 21-year-old does not want to offend anyone with this gesture – it is his special pleasure ceremony.
There is a long history behind it: When the Italian-born swimmer was eight years old, he often had to fight fiercely before swimming competitions. Especially when it comes to older opponents, they find it difficult.
His father and trainer Joseph Condorelli considered a remedy to pacify his son.
His father’s idea
Now he told Canadian broadcaster “BCB” how he helped bring his son back: “You have to strengthen your confidence as well as hint everyone: ‘Damn it, now I’m swimming!”
The middle finger ceremony was born. Santo Condorelli remembers his father’s action and says: “He said to me, ‘Show me the middle finger when you will be behind your starting block and I will show it back to you.”
A somewhat unusual ritual. But Papa and son begin to understand each other. Since then, Condorelli’s middle finger can be seen before every race – it really seems to bring him luck.
Also in rio in the beginning
Because in November the young Canadian defeated 19-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. At the Pan Am Games last year, he also won four precious metals. Condorelli competes in the 50 and 100 m freestyle and 100 m butterfly at the Olympics in Rio.