TOKYO, 29 July 2021:
Jumping on the cardboard beds of the Olympic Village to test their strength has become a new sport among Tokyo 2020 athletes, after speculation that they were “anti-sex” beds.
Some Olympic athletes, subjected to restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic which prevent them from leaving the village – except to compete or train – have entertained themselves by jumping on the beds.
These are made of recyclable cardboard as part of the organisers’ plan to reduce the environmental impact of the Games.
The latest to test them were members of the Israeli team, who filmed themselves climbing one by one onto a bed and jumping until nine of at once them broke the structure.
Baseball player Ben Wanger recorded the video and uploaded it to social media – where it went viral, and has since been taken down.
The destruction of the property has sparked anger in Japan, according to Japanese media.
Wagner’s video followed others released by Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan and Argentinian basketball players Francisco Caffaro and Tayavez Gallizzi.
“Yes, the beds are very resistant,” said Caffaro after jumping on one in the video uploaded to his TikTok account.
The videos began to spread after speculation circulated online that they were “anti-sex” beds – designed to prevent athletes from sleeping together under social distancing measures to prevent coronavirus infections.
American distance runner Paul Chelimo wrote on Twitter on July 17 that the beds were “aimed at preventing intimacy among athletes.”
The following day, McClenaghan said in his video that “in today’s episode of fake news at the Olympic Games, the beds are meant to be anti-sex.
“They’re made of cardboard, yes. But they are apparently intended to break under sudden movements. It’s fake news,” as he jumped on his bed in a video posted to Twitter and has accumulated about 4 million views.
The 18,000 beds installed in the Olympic Village are made of cardboard capable of supporting up to 200kg, and mattresses made of 100% polyester – materials that will be recycled at the end of the Games, according to the organisers of Tokyo 2020.