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Here's Why This Canadian Swimmer Gives His Dad The Finger Before Each Race

It's actually a good thing. Really.

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This is Santo Condorelli, an elite Canadian swimmer who will represent Canada at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images

The 21-year-old swimmer grew up in Portland, Oregon, but has dual Canadian-American citizenship. In 2013 he turned down a spot on the U.S. world junior championship team to compete for Canada (where his mother is from).

In 2015 Condorelli set two Canadian records: In the 50-metre butterfly and as part of a 4×100-metre mixed relay team.

He told SwimSwam Magazine the weird ritual started when he was a wiry kid competing with bigger boys. “Being so small I’d always get intimidated… every time I was going to race I’d just get scared shitless.”

Condorelli's father Joseph, who has been training him since age five, told him the best way to get over his nerves was to pretend nobody else was around.

"So he looked at me in the crowd, and we both gave each other the finger, and he started winning race after race and we never looked back,” Condorelli's father told the magazine.