Superstitions aren't unheard of, especially in the world of sports. But one Olympian has a pre-race ritual that never fails to alarm the crowd.
According to People, Canadian swimmer Santo Condorelli has been flipping his father, Joseph, the middle finger before races since he was eight. The younger Condorelli explained to the Canadian Press that his father came up with the tradition after seeing his frustration at losing to older swimmers. "[My dad said] 'You've got to build your confidence yourself and say eff everybody else that you're racing.'"
The gesture hasn't gone unnoticed -- Condorelli recalled a time at Junior Nationals when his father was seated behind television cameras. "I was looking at my father and I gave him the finger ... directing it right at the camera," he told the Press. After he wrote an apology, Condorelli and his father made an effort to make the gesture less noticeable.
"Athletes always have that one thing that gets them going that they need to do. That happens to be mine and still is," Condorelli said.
Condorelli will represent Canada in Rio in the 50 meter and 100 meter freestyle and the freestyle relay.
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