Sex and partying in Commonwealth village likened to ‘Schoolies Week’

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From Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s redemption story to Eilish McColgan’s incredible run to the 10,000m title, the 2022 Commonwealth Games has so far been one for the history books.

Birmingham has so far been a fine host for the XXII edition of the event and including today, there are still three days of action left before proceedings are brought to an end. But back at the 2018 Games in Australia, away from competition athletes were reportedly enjoying their time with one another a little too much, with sex and partying at the athletes village likened to the Gold Coast's Schoolies Week.

Once athletes finished their events they would relax at the Southport village, but some perhaps took that a little too far, with many heading to the bar in the village's International Zone to enjoy some booze. Athlete Village co-Mayor Mark Stockwell said at the time: "I have said to the police in the village it's going to be a lot like Schoolies Week down here. Let's just look after everyone and look after each other."

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He explained the party zone is separate from the residential zone, so those who are still competing can get some rest. "Once competition is over I'm encouraging a little muck-up," he said. "Just a little, you've got to be sensible but you've got to have fun.

"This is the time of their lives and this is a time that they'll always remember." The athletes had also been getting to know each other in an intimate sense, with ABC Gold Coast reporter Tom Forbes tweeting approximately 100,000 condoms were ordered for the Games Village.

"My advice is they are being used," Commonwealth Games minister Kate Jones said. "The condom supply at the village, while it's depleting, we still have plenty left for the rest of the games."

While the behaviour of some athletes may be viewed as a little wild, Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (GOLDOC) chair Peter Beattie defended the athletes' behaviour.

He said after years of training and intense competition, it's natural for athletes to let their hair down. "The reality is that they are grown-ups; these are not kids who've just finished high school," he said.

He also seemed to think the Commonwealth Games village comparison to Schoolies was unfair. "I don't think there's any parallel whatsoever between schoolies and here," he continued. "We're not running a concentration camp here. This is meant for people to enjoy themselves and they're doing it within the bounds of the law."

GOLDOC chief executive Mark Peters backed him up, explaining: "There's no alcohol within the residential area. There is a bar within the international area, but sitting right next to it is our police beat. We've seen nothing but good behaviour at the moment and people having fun."


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