Before every race, Olympic swimmer Santo Condorelli, who was raised in Portland, lifts his hand in front of his face and raises the middle finger toward the crowd.

What gives?

Condorelli, who swims for the Canadian Olympic team, is actually flipping off his dad, Joseph Condorelli. It's something the two have been doing since Santo was 8 years old.

Screenshot of Condorelli flipping off his dad at the 2012 Speedo Junior National Championship
Screenshot of Condorelli flipping off his dad at the 2012 Speedo Junior National Championship

Joseph Condorelli told the New York Daily News that he did it the first time trying to motivate his young son before a race. It must have worked because they've been doing it ever since.

Related: Santo Condorelli bio

Santo's father says it boosts his son's confidence and calms his nerves before he takes to the water.

"It became a good ritual for both of us," Joseph told the New York Daily News. "He got a lot of his aggravation out with just a really simple, 'Give it to the world,' rather than keep it internalized. It calms him down on the blocks for sure."

A 21-year-old student-athlete at the University of California, Santo is representing Canada in Rio, his first Olympics. Santo, who was born in Japan and raised in Portland, is allowed to compete for Canada because his mother was born and raised in Kenora, Ontario.

Santo won two medals at the 2015 Pan American Games while swimming for Canada: silver in the 100m freestyle and bronze in the 100m butterfly. He will compete in the 100m freestyle final on Wednesday night.

Related: Watch as Santo Condorelli competes in the 100m freestyle final on Wednesday. The race is scheduled to begin at 7:03 p.m.

On Sunday, Santo helped Canada to a seventh-place finish (3:14.35) in the 4x100m freestyle relay. He finished first (48.22) in the 100m freestyle heats on Tuesday and second (47.93) in the semifinals later that day.

Santo will also compete in the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly on Thursday and, if he makes the finals, wiil swim again on Friday.