You read that right. Olympic athletes will be sleeping on cardboard beds to deter them from having sex during the pandemic.
Designed and manufactured by the Japanese bedding company, Airweave, the no-sex beds are made entirely from recycled cardboard, suitable for use by one person at a time.
The mattresses that the athletes are sleeping on are also recyclable, having been made from polyethylene fibres.
These mattresses are customisable, with athletes being allowed to have them modified at an onsite “mattress fitting centre” where additional layers can be added for comfort.
“Our signature modular mattress design allows for firmness customizations at the shoulder, waist and legs to achieve proper spine alignment and sleep posture, allowing for the highest level of personalization for each athlete’s unique body type,” explained Airweave.
I can’t stop giggling at the notion that ppl actually believe cardboard beds at the Olympics is going to stop anything.
— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) July 18, 2021
The manufacturer created “18,000 beds and mattresses”, with 8,000 of them destined to be “repurposed for use by athletes at the Paralympics”.
Originally, the beds were designed to fit with: “The Sustainability Concept of the Tokyo 2020 Games”.
This initiative aims “to deliver [a] sustainable Games and showcase solution models of global sustainability challenges to people in Japan and around the world”.
When speaking with Dezeen Magazine (an online publication focusing on architecture and interior design), Airweave had this to say regarding their product: “The concept was to make a lightweight, easy-to-assemble mattress and meet the Games’ Sustainability Plan.”
But it’s a tweet by American track and field star, Paul Chelimo, which has caught everyone’s attention.
“Beds to be installed in Tokyo Olympic Village will be made of cardboard, this is aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes,” tweeted Chelimo. The 2016 silver medallist further elaborated with: “Beds will be able to withstand the weight of a single person to avoid situations beyond sports.”
Situations… is that what the kids are calling it now?
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😂 pic.twitter.com/J45wlxgtSo
— Paul Chelimo🇺🇸🥈🥉 (@Paulchelimo) July 17, 2021
Despite Airweave’s explanation for their involvement in this year’s Games, it has been widely speculated that Olympic officials don’t want athletes to engage in sex amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olympic Villages have reputations for being hotbeds of promiscuity. This year, it has been reported that “160,000 [condoms] have been distributed” in the Olympic Village, but not for the reason you think.
The Tokyo Olympics Organising Committee has handed them out for educational purposes – to promote safe sex.
“Our intent and goal is not for athletes to use the condoms at the Olympic Village, but to help with awareness by taking them back to their own countries,” they said in a statement.