As we’ve learned from the extensive Olympic sob stories NBC is forever oversharing with us, parents generally play a key role in an athlete’s success.
That’s why this Canadian swimmer gives his dad a shout out before each race.
By flipping him off.
The unorthodox display of affection is a tradition between Santo Condorelli and his father, Joseph. Before each race the 21-year-old proudly flashes an extended middle to his father in the stands, who sends the symbol right back.
Condorelli is now recognized for his signature, pre-race ritual.
I've never wanted someone to win so much. This guy is awesome! https://t.co/pkF7MFqG15— Brad Fritsch (@BradFritsch) August 6, 2016
Joseph said that the tradition helps calm his son down before a race. “He got a lot of his aggravation out with just a really simple ‘Give it to the world,’” Joseph said.
As strange as the ritual is, it seems to work. The Olympian advanced to the 100-meter freestyle semifinals on Tuesday, and later this week, he will continue to compete for Canada — a nation that once had a reputation for niceness that Condorelli has pretty much obliterated.
Santo will race in the 50-meter freestyle on Thursday, but win or lose, his obscene gesture has already made him the Games' breakout star.