On July 17, US distance runner Paul Chelimo tweeted “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 4 of us can do” (sic) and with that were a couple of pictures of the beds.
I can’t fly business polaris then sleep on a carton box
Now economy is very perfecto!
— Paul Chelimo (@Paulchelimo) July 17, 2021
He went on to make a series of jokes in the very thread that garnered a very strong reaction. The internet has been ablaze since, with many calling the idea outright bizarre.
What the hell !!! This will be very much uncomfortable!!! Sports people need to get proper rest also. Tokyo can do better. This is pathetic.
— Govind (@govindaramanbe) July 17, 2021
Well there’s always the floor.. they forgot that!
— Kiran Martis کیرن مارٹیس (@kiranmartis9) July 18, 2021
However, after Chelimo’s claims especially came the indications that the original intentions behind the practice were in a different place.
They were actually designed for environmental-friendliness, you’re just bad at researching.https://t.co/ZPavhGAy05
— Brian Schwind (@brian_schwind) July 18, 2021
The beds are meant to be recycled into paper products post the game. The bed, said to withstand 200 kilograms of weight, was first revealed in January 2020, and aims to promote the idea of social distancing.
Moreover, the beds are supposedly quite sturdy.
As can be seen in this clip tweeted by Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan hours later, the beds can withstand someone jumping up and down on them. He filmed himself jumping repeatedly on one of the beds in question to drive home the point that the beds were `safe’. “The beds are meant to be anti-sex. They’re made out of cardboard, yes, but apparently, they’re meant to break with sudden movements. It’s fake — fake news!” McClenaghan said in the video.
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 19, 2021
The post was retweeted by the official account of the Olympics, thanking the gymnast for the clarification.
Thousands of athletes are staying at the Olympic Village during the pandemic-delayed 2020 Tokyo Games, which start on July 23.