The Italian Almanac

Federica Pellegrini and Filippo Magnini


Italian swim queen Federica Pellegrini is challenging her boyfriend's ban on sex during the London Olympics. She said fellow swimming champion Filippo Magnini was not serious when he gave the thumbs down to intercourse during competition. "Filippo was joking," said Pellegrini, who will defend her 200 metres freestyle title in London and go for gold in the 400m too. "That's all we need!"

Magnini, double 100m freestyle world champ, told A magazine that while some athletes even have sex the evening before an important race, "I'm more prudent. During the events, I try to keep calm," said Magnini, who has been dating world 200m and 400m freestyle champ Pellegrini since last year.

Magnini said the thrill of winning was at least as good as sex. "No one can take that moment away from you," he said. "It's yours for ever. A real orgasm."