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The cardboard beds at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are good for sex and the planet

After a rumor began about the Olympics's new sustainable cardboard beds being "anti-sex," an athelete put them to the test.

The cardboard beds at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are good for sex and the planet
Image Source: Paulchelimo / Twitter

As the Tokyo 2020 Olympics get underway, the special beds installed in athletes' dorm rooms have kicked up a storm across the internet, with several news outlets reporting that the beds are allegedly "anti-sex." Reports claimed authorities wished to prevent athletes from fraternizing with each other by placing beds made of cardboard, and therefore unable to withstand the weight of more than one person, in their dorm rooms. However, the cardboard beds are sturdy enough for more than one individual. They were, nonetheless, installed with another goal in mind: this year, sustainability lies at the core of the Olympics' ethos. The beds are hence made of sustainable, biodegradable materials, USA Today reports.



This is the first time in Olympics and Paralympics history that the beds made for athletes are made almost entirely out of sustainable materials. The beds have been developed by Airweave, a Japanese bedding company. They are made from polyethylene fibers which, according to the company, can be recycled an infinite number of times. Following the Olympic Games, the beds will be made into paper products, whereas the mattress components will be recycled into new plastic products. Airweave will supply an estimated 18,000 beds and mattresses to the Olympic Village, where athletes reside during the global tournament.



Furthermore, the beds can hold up to 441 pounds. That is more than two times the average weight of an American man. In a statement, the bed supplier confirmed, "Cardboard beds are actually stronger than the ones made of wood or steel." Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan also put the cardboard beds to test in a now-viral video posted to Twitter. In the video, he jumps onto the bed with immense force to prove that they would not fall apart. "Apparently they’re meant to break at any sudden movements," the gymnast states. "It’s fake! Fake news!" The official Twitter handle of the Olympics shared his video, thanking him for "debunking the myth." They affirmed, "The sustainable cardboard beds are sturdy!"



The rumor first began when United States runner and Olympic silver medallist Paul ​​Chelimo shared two photos of the beds on Twitter. He wrote, "Beds to be installed in Tokyo Olympic Village will be made of cardboard, this is aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes. Beds will be able to withstand the weight of a single person to avoid situations beyond sports. I see no problem for distance runners, even four of us can do."



The Olympics are infamous for "adult" activities like sex among athletes, and the sports authority is known to distribute contraceptives to athletes residing in the Olympic Village. This year, officials are particularly worried about the spread of COVID-19 and are taking strict measures to prevent a superspreader event from taking place. While authorities are expressing severe caution, especially as the Japanese public are highly disgruntled by the sporting event being held in their capital city, three cases of the virus have already been confirmed in the athletes' village. It is unclear what the next few days of matches will hold for those in attendance.


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