VANCOUVER - Look. Up in the Sky. It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's ... Captain Condom.
The safe sex superhero and several other caped crusaders will hit the streets of Vancouver next month, when the city hosts the world for the 2010 Olympic Games.
Behind the marching bands, clowns, condoms on stilts and general three-ring circus is a serious message about harm reduction during the Olympic fun.
The organizers, a group called SafeGames 2010, will have outreach teams handing out "safe kits" to thousands of visitors and locals.
Those kits will include condoms, lubricants, lip balm, hand heaters, glow sticks, DVDs and information cards and referrals to local service providers and resources.
Luciano Colonna, of SafeGames, says one goal is to hand out 250,000 condoms to Games goers but he said the main goal is to enhance the effort of the community in hosting the games in a safe manner.
Colonna, who's been to several Olympic Games, said it's always a celebration, which can sometimes get out of hand.
"People are going to drink more alcohol than they usually do," Colonna said. "I think that when you travel, you're on vacation, when you're spending the kind of money that people spend when they attend the Olympics these are all considerations."
Enter Methadone Man, Pink Storm, Epidemiology Guy and the Caped and Always-Protected Crusader.
A partnership of about 20 different community based groups, governments, and private business are supporting the efforts.
The City of Vancouver has contributed $20,000 to the overall cost and the Open Society Institute, a group that works towards safeguarding fundamental rights, has also contributed.
All the so-called superheroes hitting the streets will be volunteers, and most of them will choose their own costumes and their own aliases.
"There will be no end to the host of superheroes that will be there," Colonna said with a chuckle.
"The volunteers have a lot of fun because its a way for them to participate in the Olympics and this is what they do, they get out and they act a little funny."
The program is modelled after the Salt Lake City's Safe Games 2002, where volunteers provided outreach and advocacy support to those visiting Salt Lake City during that city's Winter Olympics.
The volunteers could have their work cut out for them.
At least one local sex shop is trying to lure Olympic visitors. Womyns' Ware is offering a 10 per cent discount to all event ticket holders and a free sex-toy guide and a $5 coupon to all accredited media.
Free gifts are also being offered to athletes who want to drop by, including a free "slip kit" to registered lugers.
"We think that lube and tight-fitting bodysuits just go together naturally," company spokeswoman Janna Sylvest said in an email.
"Both sex and sporting activities are excellent cardiovascular activities, and statistically I've read that sex is more often engaged in during the Winter Months, just like the luge."