Before every race Canadian Olympic swimmer Santo Condorelli peers into the stands to see his father giving him the middle finger. Then he gives the old man the one finger salute right back. I’ve heard of some pretty strange superstitions but getting emotionally abused by your dad before every competition is truly next level.
From the New York Daily News:
Joseph Condorelli said he began flipping off his son as a motivational tool when Santo was a frustrated 8-year-old trying to beat the older, bigger swimmers. With his confidence boosted, Santo sends the bird right back his father’s way.
“It became a good ritual for both of us,” Joseph said. “He got a lot of his aggravation out with just a really simple ‘Give it to the world’ rather than keep it internalized. It calms him down on the blocks for sure.”
Alrighty then. Just a reminder that if you want your kid to be a world-class athlete you’re going to have to establish that you will never love them unless they make it to the top. Let them channel their hatred of you and need for your approval into their everyday training.
I actually flipped my dad off before writing this article to try it out and, frankly, he wasn’t happy and told me to move out. Not sure that helped my writing much. Also, I don’t recall my dad ever flipping me off when I was in elementary school but I guess that’s why Condorelli is swimming in the Olympics and I’m at home writing about it.