Santo Condorelli gives his dad the middle finger before every race

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If you’re tuning into the men’s Olympic swimming events over the next couple of weeks, you might get a bit of a shock when Canada’s Santo Condorelli is competing.

The 21-year-old, before every race, gives the middle finger.

But don’t worry, it’s not directed towards any of you at home. Condorelli is actually aiming it towards his own father. Sound bizarre? Fortunately, there is a logical explanation.


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Aged eight, the young Santo became frustrated after being beaten by older swimmers.

His dad, Joseph, then came up with an interesting, unique plan - and one which seems to have worked for his son.

Santo explains why he gives his dad the middle finger

Santo was told to show his middle finger - or ‘flip the bird’ - before every race.

”[My father said] 'You've got to build your confidence yourself and say eff everybody else that you're racing’,” Santo was quoted as saying by The Canadian Press. "He said ‘Every time you're behind the blocks, give me the finger and I'll give it back to you."'

Video: Santo 'flips the bird' before race

Scroll to 1min 30secs...

It's got him in trouble in the past

But, unsurprisingly, the pre-race tactic has landed him in hot water in the past.

Santo was once competing at the junior nations when Joseph was positioned behind the television cameras.

"I was looking at my father and I gave him the finger . . . directing it right at the camera," the swimmer recalls. "I had to write an apology."

Want to see if Santo shows his middle finger in Rio? Check out the freestyle relay race on Sunday, the 100-metre freestyle on Tuesday and the 50-metre free next Thursday.

Should Santo Condorelli be allowed to show his middle finger before every race? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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