Why Olympic Swimmer Santo Condorelli Flips the Bird Before Every Race | NECN
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Why Olympic Swimmer Santo Condorelli Flips the Bird Before Every Race

His dad says he does so to build his confidence

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    Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
    Santo Condorelli of Canada competes in the men's 100m freestyle heats on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on Aug. 9, 2016 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.

    One Olympic swimmer's pre-race superstition has viewers wondering why he flips the bird. 

    Canada's Santo Condorelli, 21, started flipping his dad his middle finger before each race when he was a child. His dad says he does so to build his confidence, according to the New York Daily News.

    The official Canadian Olympic team website says Condorelli "always signals to his parents from the pool deck with his middle finger and splashes himself twice with pool water."

    Santo Condorelli started swimming at 5 years old and competed as a youth for a few years before taking a break. After four years off, he rekindled his love for the sport as a sophomore in high school. His first time representing Canada on an international stage was at the 2015 Pan American Games, which were held in Toronto.

    He captured a silver medal in the 100m freestyle and followed that up with a fourth-place finish in the event at the world championships a few weeks later.

    Condorelli was born in Japan and grew up in Portland, Oregon. His mother is from Ontario.