Are the cardboard beds in the Olympic Village really ‘anti-sex’?

So what’s the real story behind the beds in the Tokyo Olympic Village?

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Village Beds (The Libero/TikTok, Paul Chelimo/Twitter)

TOKYO – Beds made out of cardboard may sound like they’d be flimsy and less than comfortable, but they serve a surprisingly sustainable purpose and Olympic officials think they’re good enough for the world’s best athletes.

However, due to the size and materials of the beds, a rumor sparked online that the beds were designed to discourage Olympians from intimate activities outside of the games. Track and field athlete Paul Chelimo had people wondering if that’s really what the beds were for with a tweet thread.

“Beds to be installed in Tokyo Olympic Village will be made of cardboard, this is aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes,” Chelimo said in a tweet. “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 4 of us can do.”

The beds can hold up to 440 pounds of weight, are 6 feet 11 inches long and are designed for sustainability. There were 18,000 beds made with cardboard frames and plastic mattresses for the Tokyo Olympic Village, and they will be recycled at the end of the summer games.

Tokyo 2020, along with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan chose the beds as part of their goal toward zero waste.

According to the general manager of the Olympics, Takashi Kitajima, the beds are very durable.

“They are stronger than wooden beds,” Kitajima said.

In fact, some athletes have taken to TikTok to prove just how sturdy the beds are by jumping and diving on top of the mattresses.


Reply to @hesitantlocal beds are Taylor thief in the night approved #olympics #tokyo2020 #tokyo2021 @taylorsander3

♬ original sound - Erik Shoji

That’s some strong cardboard for a good purpose.


About the Author:

Raven Jordan is a digital and social intern at KSAT 12. She majored in digital and print journalism at UNT's Mayborn School of Journalism.