Canadian Swimmer Santo Condorelli Gives His Dad Middle Finger Before Each Race

Thomas Duffy@@TJDhoopsFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2016

Jul 16, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Santo Condorelli of Canada waves to the crowd after receiving his bronze medal in the men's swimming 100m butterfly final during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Ro
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Canadian Santo Condorelli flips off his dad before every race.

It's true. According to Donna Spencer of the Canadian Press, Condorelli's father began the tradition when his son was an eight-year-old frustrated by competing against older swimmers.

"[He said] 'You've got to build your confidence yourself and say eff everybody else that you're racing,'" Condorelli told Spencer. "He said, 'Every time you're behind the blocks, give me the finger and I'll give it back to you.'"

As you might imagine, Condorelli has gotten into trouble with this ritual. Fans unaware of his story might be offended or shocked when they see a bird flipped at them pre-race.

"It became a good ritual for both of us. He got a lot of his aggravation out with just a really simple 'Give it to the world' rather than keep it internalized," Condorelli's dad, Joseph, said. "It calms him down on the blocks for sure."

Here's an action shot of Condorelli’s middle-finger ritual (skip to 1:25):

[h/t theScore, YouTube]