Swimmers relax in Grey area

Members of the Australian female swim team have found an alternative way to 'relax' before bed – reading erotic fiction novel, Fifty Shades of Grey.

Proving to be a real page-turner, the titillating best seller has taken the world by storm, even finding it’s way into the athlete’s village.

Australia’s most successful swimmer at the Games so far, Alicia Coutts, says the book is helping the female contingent of the swim team unwind.

[Fifty Shades of Grey: Read the first chapter]

"Most of the swimming girls are reading Fifty Shades of Grey. We're all talking about it," Alicia Coutts told News Ltd.

"I've found it really interesting. I can't put it down."

Fellow swimmer Stephanie Rice also tweeted a picture of herself with the book in the lead-up to the Games.

Stephanie Rice reading Fifty Shades of Grey

“Have heard a mixed review on the book. What's ur opinion?? I'm just starting it #fiftyshades,” Rice told her Twitter followers.

Since the controversial ban of sleeping drug, Stillnox, the Olympic team have been exploring different methods to help athletes relax and get a good night’s rest, including relaxation CDs and films.

James Magnussen’s admission that he was strung out from sleepless nights highlighted just how much stress some of the team are under.

Coutts’ bedtime reading seems to have been a rewarding decision, not only helping her ‘relax’, but help her collect four medals in London.

Reportedly onto the second book in the series, she told media that the novel was an impulse purchase at a service station on the road to London from their pre-Games training camp in Manchester.

But Coutts hasn’t been chastised for her choice in reading material.

"My manager said just forget about the sex bits and it's actually a really good story,” she said.

"Normally when I race I watch a series on my laptop.

“But I've just been so into this book that I haven't even got my DVDs out."

Members of Australia's 4x200m freestyle relay team hold their silver medals during the women's 4x200m freestyle …

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