Entertainment And News

Why People Think Olympic Athletes Are Sleeping In 'Anti-Intimacy' Cardboard Beds During The Games

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tokyo olympics 2020 stadium bed

The Tokyo 2020 Sustainability Plan was announced all the way back in 2018.

Since the Olympics is one of the largest sporting events in the world, Tokyo wanted to set an example for the push towards environmental justice — thus, the Sustainability Plan was born.

Japan is making podiums out of recycled plastic and reusing plywood by the thousands, and announced that athletes will sleep on cardboard beds.

But somehow, Japan attempting to be eco-friendly has caused debate over whether these beds were designed to deter Olympians from having sex.

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Japanese bedding company ‘Airweave’ designed a bed frame made from 100 percent recycled cardboard and a customizable mattress made from polyethylene fibres, which they claim can be recycled an infinite number of times.

The company created 18,000 beds and mattresses for athletes at the Tokyo Olympics, 8,000 of which will be repurposed for use by athletes at the Paralympics.

The design of the bed frame being cardboard recently sparked controversy on Twitter.

Olympic runner, Paul Chelimo, posted a tweet claiming that the beds are made out of cardboard to prevent athletes from being intimate during the duration of the Games:

The tweet, originally made in jest because Chelimo worried the beds were too flimsy and would break, made waves all over the internet.

News websites and other athletes claimed that the new beds were seriously trying to prevent athletes from having sex, since the beds were so small and made from cardboard.

The truth is that the new Airweave bed frames and mattresses were not made to prevent intimacy.

In fact, the beds can support up to 200 kilograms, or roughly 441 pounds.

Olympic gymnast Rhys Mcclenaghan even tested the beds out himself, jumping on one to test its durability.

Clearly, if the people behind the Athletic Village wanted to prevent people from having sex by making them sleep in collapsing beds, they would have actually made it so the beds could collapse.

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It all started with that tweet from Chelimo, and then big news sources quoted him, assuming the beds truly served that purpose. That type of rhetoric is harmful to the Japanese culture, a country that struggles with a declining birth rate.

Chelimo later posted a tweet mocking the lack of luxury by sleeping on a bed made out of cardboard.

The idea behind the beds, besides being environmentally friendly and sustainable, is that they’re lightweight, easily assembled and disassembled, and can be moved.

The mattresses are designed similarly to another one of Airweave’s mattress models and are capable of fitting to any body type, targeting support in 3 sections: upper, middle, and lower body, with the hardness being adjustable in any section.

The cardboard beds were made to be sustainable but also comfortable, according to Takashi Kitajima, a Tokyo 2020 organizer in charge of the Athletes' Village.

In the Olympic Village, athletes will also be able to go to a mattress fitting center where they can get help with mattress configuration.

Of course, that won’t stop the internet from creating memes about the misinformation and design.

People are posting pictures of different beds, claiming those are actually the "anti-sex" beds everyone is talking about.

Chelimo even went on his Twitter thread, posting pictures of cardboard boxes that were taken apart.

Olympic Marathon Runner Molly Siedel tweeted in fun as well.

Turns out, the games aren’t so anti-sex after all.

Not only are the beds designed for durability and eco-friendliness, but when the events end, they will be handing out 150,000 condoms to athletes to encourage safe sex — an Olympic tradition since 1988, started to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Let’s just hope that during the actual games, the athletes will remain safe as well.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice and relationships.