By Thien Huynh
Downhill skier Kerrin-Lee Gartner used it to propel her to Olympic gold, but baseball player Wade Boggs is scared it will make his legs weak on game day. It’s not a drug. It is more powerful than steroids. It’s sex.
Sex and athletics is a partnership that dates back to the early Greek Olympics. Athletes back then competed naked and indulged in orgies after the event. Here at Ryerson, athletes must wear regulation uniforms and post-game orgies are optional.
The topic of sex before a big game or tournament has been a passionate debate over the years. International soccer coached are notorious for imposing sex bans before tournaments. In 1997, Italian national soccer coach Azeglio Vicini ordered his players to abstain from sex for more than two months. Unfortunately this temporary celibacy didn’t translate to a tournament win.
At Ryerson players are fortunate not to have coached who are sexual dictators. The Rams’ men’s basketball team are allowed to indulge themselves as long as it’s in moderation.
“Coach Haggerty just tells use to get a good rest before game days and don’t drink up or party too hard,” says forward Godfrey Hunte. Sex before a game has no effect on Hunte’s performance because he claims he’s a virgin. This coming from a guy who’s a player on and off the court.
Many Ryerson athletes don’t see sex as an issue before game day. Badminton player Rob Fullerton thinks players are more concerned with preparation than sex. Sometimes the opportunity for erotica doesn’t even present itself.
“On road tournaments, I share a hotel room with two other guys. Trust me, the thought of sex doesn’t even cross my mind,” says Fullerton.
Rams basketball guard Lui Cinello believes sex before a game is not only harmless but beneficial to a player’s performance. Cinello claims sex makes him more relaxed and allows him to concentrate better during the game. The 26-year-old guard just made a comeback this year after a year-and-a-half stint as an assistant coach. Cinello welcomes all the exercise he can get.
Only a few athletes will torture themselves with celibacy. A Ryerson athletes who wishes to remain anonymous recalls her experience at a swim meet last year. “I had sex with my boyfriend the night before and I was mentally relaxed as ever. But my legs felt weak and were on the verge of cramping.” The athlete now swears off sex a full two days before a meet.
Most experts believe sex increases an athlete’s performance. Justin Zuber, a therapist at the Jane/Dufferin Clinic, encourages athletes to make that booty call. “Sex before competition is good. It reduces stress and is not physically detrimental. It has a positive psychological affect.”
But wasn’t it the legendary Muhammed Ali who once said, “When you don’t get any sex for a while, you get mean and angry and it makes you a great warrior.”