UPDATED 7/19 – 8:30 p.m.: Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan shared a video Saturday debunking the theory that these Airweave beds, made of recycled cardboard, were constructed with the intent of discouraging intimacy among Olympic athletes. McClenaghan showed off the sturdiness of the beds by aggressively jumping up and down on them for a few seconds.
The Olympics’ Twitter account thanked McClenaghan for proving the “anti-sex” myth wrong.
The Olympics handbook asks that attendees “limit your physical contact with athletes,” and “avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact,” such as hugs and handshakes. The Tokyo Organising Committee will also hand out condoms to athletes on their way out of Olympic Village, instead of making them readily available throughout their stay.
“The distribution of condoms is not for use at the athlete’s village, but to have athletes take them back to their home countries to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS issues,” the committee said.
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Olympic athletes will spend their nights on cardboard beds in an effort to discourage casual sex during next week’s contentious Olympic games.
As reported by Dezeen, the bizarre decision by Olympic officials–who are already dealing with two COVID-19 outbreaks within the Olympic Village–was made in hopes that it will discourage “intimacy among athletes,” American distance runner Paul Chelimo tweeted. The 18,000 beds are comprised of frames designed from recycled cardboard, and mattresses are made from three blocks of polyethylene fibers. Each mattress, designed by the Japanese company Airweave, can be further customized with additional layers for comfort. With that said, the design is meant to only support one person, and will allegedly cave under the weight of two people. On the upside, the beds align with Japan’s expansive Olympic Sustainability Plan. The mattress can be reused an unlimited number of times, and the bed frames will be donated to national organizations soon after the game’s end.
The Olympic Village has long been known to be a rambunctious abode for young athletes. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, over 450,000 condoms were doled out to competitors, whereas this year only 160,000 have been distributed. Officials claimed that the condoms were for educational purposes regarding safe sex, and were not to be used within the village. “Our intent and goal is not for athletes to use the condoms at the Olympic Village, but to help with awareness by taking them back to their own countries,” the Olympic Committee said in a statement.