Athletes Who Like to Party
The Olympics are just days away and, outside of victory, that means but one thing for the world’s best athletes—a long-awaited end to four years of training and the green light to trade hard sacrifice for hardy partying.
By all accounts, including a 2012 tell-all book and “sex-crazed” tales from Hope Solo, the Olympic Village is a 14-day party that commences the moment the first athletes complete their finals. From there on, it gathers steam daily as more athletes join in and take advantage of the free booze, food, condoms and freedom of not having to suffer through 5 a.m. training sessions.
But some athletes can’t even wait that long, and get busted before they’ve even competed or their medals revoked once evidence emerges. So we scoured the archives to find a select a few who like to let their hair down more than most, be it during, before or after The Games.
When you’re an Olympic shooter, it’s a safe bet that, if you throw a house party, nothing’s going to get trashed. And that’s just what American Josh Lakatos did in 2000—only it was in the Sydney Olympic Village, it wasn’t his house and it was during Olympic competition.
With shooting events done within the first few days of the two-week event, Lakatos and his fellow shooters were ordered by the US Olympic Committee to turn in the keys to their three story house and return to America. “F**k that!” Lakatos thought. He’d been to Atlanta in 1996 and knew the village was about to explode into a debaucherous weeklong party (see: orgy) as more athletes completed their events. So with his teammates gone, Lakatos broke back into the now vacant house and threw an eight-day-long party. It was the only place athletes could get intimate without room-mates and chaperones. “I’ve never witnessed so much debauchery in my entire life,” Lakatos told ESPN in 2012.”The [first] morning, swear to God, the entire women’s 4x100 relay team of some Scandinavian-looking country walks out of the house, followed by boys from our side. And I’m just going, ‘Holy crap, we’d watched these girls run the night before’.”
His mom famously labeled the swimmer a Lothario only interested in one-night stands. And during the London 2012 Games Lochte did little to dispel the allegation. In fact, for each of the five medals the champion swimmer won in London he spent a night on the town—and as many as four nights out consecutively, from the moment his duties were complete. While others athletes were still competing, the 11x medalist was attempting to set a new record for drinks consumed and women charmed, allegedly enjoying the company of more than one female partner at once during an infamous limousine ride to one of London’s hottest clubs.
In fact, almost every one of those nights Lochte was photographed leaving the club with a different woman and soaking wet, like he’d just emerged from the pool. Having had a taste of the party life post his medal haul, Lochte didn’t stop there. Within three weeks he was cutting loose at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas to celebrate his 28th birthday when he opted to rip off his gear and have a 3 a.m. sprint race in the pool - with none other than Prince Harry (They had a few obstacles in some 20 bikini-clad bathers). Lochte takes his birthdays seriously, last year throwing a party at The Playboy Mansion and now dating playmate Kayla Rae Reid.
Who said Canadians don’t party, eh? Snowboarding and a good time go hand in hand. And if you’re a professional snowboarder, a party is rarely far away—be it at a lodge or solo at the top of a mountain. So when it was introduced to the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998 in an effort to draw in a younger crowd, well, it didn’t go too smoothly. Canadian shredder Ross Rebagliati won gold in the parallel giant slalom but within three days was stripped of his medal after tests showed traces of THC. That was hardly a surprise. It was Rebagliati’s excuse that raised eyebrows, the gold medalist claiming he’d ingested it second hand at a party just nights before his event. Which raised an even greater question—how the hell do you party and then win Olympic Gold a few days later? Well, the Canadian Olympic Committee went to bat for their medalist and successfully argued that the green wasn’t a performance-enhancer and Rebagliati got his medal back before the closing ceremony—just in time for the real party. What’s Canada’s gold-medal snowboarder up to now? He runs Ross’Gold, a medicinal marijuana enterprise.
A champion swimmer who’d go on to become a Hollywood socialite and star in Tarzan’s Revenge in 1938, Eleanor Holm was a gold medal Olympian and gold medal drinker—who won the affection of Hitler himself at the 1936 Berlin Games. The raging started on the transatlantic boat trip to Europe. Done with being cooped up below for two weeks, Holm decided to indulge in a few drinks at a cocktail party being thrown on an upper deck. She was found in an alleged “comatose state” some hours later and banned from competing for setting a bad example. “This chaperone came up to me and told me it
was time to go to bed. God, it was about 9 o’clock, and who wanted to go down in that basement to sleep anyway?” Holm recalled years later. “So I said to her: ‘Oh, is it really bedtime? Did you make the Olympic team or did I?’ I had had a few glasses of Champagne. The next morning I was fired. I was heartbroken.” This only made her more famous and by the time she arrived in Germany she was a celebrity. She couldn’t compete and was consequently invited to every high profile party in town during the Olympics, where Nazi leaders Hitler and Hermann Goering competed for her attention. “I’ll never forget when Goering and Hitler said that had I been a German athlete the punishment would have come after I had won the gold medal,” Holm recalled. “Later I thought, ‘yeah, probably Buchenwald or some other concentration camp’.”