Irish Gymnast Jumps On Cardboard Bed in Athletes’ Village To Prove They Aren’t “Anti-Sex”

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics start July 23.

Athletes participating in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will sleep on beds made from recyclable cardboard. | Reuters
Athletes participating in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will sleep on beds made from recyclable cardboard. | Reuters

Athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will have to undergo frequent testing and follow strict physical distancing rules to minimize the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak. Will they also be required to… sleep on “anti-sex” beds made of cardboard? 

The fact that the bed frames in the Athletes’ Village are made of recyclable cardboard has spurred speculation that Olympics organizers’ COVID-19 precautions have even extended to the sleeping arrangements —  as a measure to prevent close contact between athletes.

Team USA’s Paul Chelimo joked on Twitter that the beds are “aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes.” 

“Beds will be able to withstand the weight of a single person to avoid situations beyond sports,” Chelimo, a track and field athlete, said.

Another athlete, Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland, however, balked at the claim that the beds are “anti-sex.” McClenaghan posted a video to Twitter showing himself jumping on his bed to prove its sturdiness.

The official Twitter account for the Olympics chimed in on the bed drama, retweeting McClenaghan’s video and saying “Thanks for debunking the myth.”

Last year, organizers announced that the 18,000 beds in the Athletes’ Village will be made from cardboard. Takashi Kitajima, the general manager of the Athletes’ Village, said at the time that the beds can support up to 440 pounds. After the beds are used at the Olympic and Paralympic games, they’ll be recycled into paper products.

Though it doesn’t seem the beds will be a hindrance to extracurricular activities, athletes at the 2020 games are subject to stringent physical distancing rules. Participants are expected to “avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact such as hugs, high-fives, and handshakes,” according to the official playbook for athletes.

Additionally, only a fraction of the 450,000 condoms distributed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio will be handed out in Tokyo, and they’ll only be given to athletes at the end of the games.

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