The best story to come out of Rio 2016 – outside of the Olympic stadium – is, without a doubt, Usain Bolt’s love life.
Over the past couple of weeks it has come out that he has a Jamaican girlfriend – the Kim Kardashian-obsessed Kasi Bennett, 26, whose Twitter followers have naturally doubled since the news has come out. She and Bolt are apparently so serious that his sister predicted they’d get engaged after the Olympics.
But that happy ending might now be over, after Brazilian student Jady Duarte, 20, took a selfie with Bolt. In Rio. While he was topless. Seemingly in bed.
The photographs suggest that Bolt and Duarte slept together after meeting at a club in west Rio. But she’s adamant that she never meant for them to go viral. Instead, insists Duarte, she only took the pictures of their apparent night together so she could send them to her friends via WhatsApp.
Duarte stressed to Brazilian news site EXTRA that she’s not proud of her unintentional kiss and tell.
“I never wanted to be famous, I’m dying of shame,” she said. “I’d rather not talk about it – in order not to complicate matters.” She also tweeted that her night with Bolt was “normal” and “not a big deal” – especially as she didn’t even recognise the famous athlete, until her friend pointed him out.
Not everyone believes Duarte. To many, her WhatsApp story is a convenient untruth used to catapult her into the public eye. But to me, as a millennial, her selfies are pretty standard stuff.
Every young person with a mobile phone will have been privy to sexual oversharing – either sent to them directly or circulated by friends.
In the past few months, I’ve been sent a stealthy selfie of the Mexican guy my friend slept with on holiday, who had no idea a blurry photo of his face (okay, abs) was on its way to London. I’ve received live updates during Tinder dates more times that I can remember. And I’ve often woken up to group chats where girls I haven’t spoken to in years (and who have probably forgotten I’m silently lurking in their WhatsApp groups) have given a detailed analysis of their recent sexploits.
Memorably, I was even sent a photo, by one friend, of her date’s bedside drawer- because of its Fifty Shades-style contents. He never knew she’d discovered it, let alone documented it for her mates, with appropriate emoji.
In a digital age, it’s become natural to overshare about sex and dating. When you have your phone right there with you in the bedroom, why save gossip for Saturday brunch? You can just snap the evidence immediately and get an instant reaction.
I was part of the generation who grew up alongside the internet, and this behaviour has been ingrained into my social interactions. I saw my first penis aged 13 when a friend showed me a pixelated photo on a Nokia 8210 of her boyfriend nude (I now recognise this as borderlinerevenge porn).
When I was 19 and my best friend lost her virginity, she didn’t wait to tell me about it in the morning – she grabbed her phone while she was still lying in bed with her boyfriend and texted me immediately. It’s telling that he didn’t bat an eyelid but just muttered, ‘Say hi to Rad from me.’
Duarte is 20 years old – six years younger than me. She’s never known an internet-free world. Her first nude pic sighting probably wasn’t even pixellated but a full colour version sent via BBM. To me, it’s not in the least bit surprising that she would have taken a selfie with her alleged one nighter and I don’t necessarily believe it means she was chasing fame. She’s a millennial with a mobile phone – what else was she going to do?