Olympics athletes told: forget the handshake

    March 6, 2012

    For centuries it has been a greeting ritual, practised as far back as ancient Greece and thought to have emerged as a gesture of peace to demonstrate that the hand holds no weapons.

    It now takes various guises, and has been used to assess how aggressive, open or weak a person may be depending on the amount of pressure they use. Outside the UK it is sometimes regarded as a classic symbol of the British stiff upper lip, reserved and safe compared with the continental single, double or triple kiss on the cheek, or the Middle Eastern three-times hug, yet continues to feature in all walks of life, from diplomatic gatherings to a meeting down at the pub.

    But the latest advice from Dr Ian McCurdie, the British Olympic Association chief medical officer, is for competing athletes in Team GB to stay at the top of their game by refusing the hand if offered, wherever possible...