Before Santo Condorelli steps on the starting block, the Canadian swimmer has a peculiar ritual. He extends his middle finger in the direction of the stands.
 
No, he's not angry at dear ol' dad sitting there, the officials, other swimmers or anyone watching on television who might be wondering what the eff is going on.
 
It's a gesture Condorelli has been making since he was an 8-year-old frustrated at getting beat by rivals in the pool. His father Joseph suggested his son flip him off before each race as a way to get the aggravation out. Joseph gives his son the finger right back.
 
"It's stuck with me and it gives me this little confidence booster, you know, relax," Condorelli said.
 
 
 

love the fact that wherever I go, everyone knows # #teampeluk #toogood #roadtorio

A photo posted by Santo Condorelli (@santo_condorelli) on

 
Only not everyone finds it amusing. At Canada's Olympic trials, Condorelli flipped off his dad, who was sitting next to the TV cameras. At a junior national meet, the same thing happened. Both times the 21-year-old swimmer had to write letters of apology.
 
"Especially in the world today, everybody is pretty sensitive," he said. "Since everybody is offended, it's like, `Whatever.' You have the right to be offended, but I still got to do me."
 
Condorelli says his mother is OK with the finger flip.
 
"Oh yeah," he said, laughing. "My family relationships are probably pretty different than most."
 
Condorelli finished fourth in the 100-meter freestyle in Rio and seventh in the 4x100 free relay. His remaining events are the 50 free and 100 butterfly.