The opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will kick off on Saturday amid concerns worldwide of the country’s ability to handle the pandemic.
Social media users, on the other hand, have focused their attention on the alleged “anti-sex” cardboard beds provided in the athletes’ village.
Many have speculated that the “flimsy” beds are for pandemic prevention purposes. Social media users have hinted at the Olympic organizer’s bid to installing cardboard beds to discourage athletes from breaching social distancing policies to engage in sexual activities.
As a matter of fact, even before the COVID-19 outbreak, cardboard beds in the Tokyo Olympic Village had already come under the media’s spotlight as early as January 2020.
According to the Associated Press, the organizers said that the choice of cardboard was due to environmental concerns. In particular, both cardboard beds and plastic mattresses are recyclable and reusable.
The organizers also emphasized that the cardboard beds are able to withstand a weight of 200 kilograms. This implied that adopting cardboard beds is not a measure of pandemic prevention as recently speculated.
As athletes come face-to-face with the unconventional beds, many decided to test them out to see if they really were as sturdy as advertised.
Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan shared a video on Twitter showing himself testing out the cardboard bed. In the video, he jumped up and down on the bed without the bed collapsing.
“Anti-sex” beds at the Olympics pic.twitter.com/2jnFm6mKcB
— Rhys Mcclenaghan (@McClenaghanRhys) July 18, 2021
另一位墨西哥舉重選手Jorge Adan Cardenas Estrada也做了相同的實驗並上傳短片至抖音，短片中他一躍而起，以全身力量跳躍至床板上，而床架依舊沒有任何動靜。
Mexican weightlifter Jorge Adan Cardenas Estrada also shared a clip that showed him hopping onto the bed, capitalizing on the weight of his entire body, and yet the bed stayed intact.
As for pandemic-prevention regulations, the organizers have issued a “playbook” for athletes. The playbook elaborately states all the regulations that athletes must comply with.
According to the Guardian, those who violate the regulations are likely to be penalized, including being fined, disqualified, having their medals withdrawn, or even face deportation.
On the other hand, supplying condoms has always been a tradition in Olympic villages.
As reported by the Guardian, the Olympic Villages have been offering condoms since Seoul 1988 Olympics as a sign to advocate safe sex behaviors.
The report also highlights that during Rio 2016 Olympics, the Olympics Village provided athletes with a record-high number of 450,000 condoms.
Reuters mentioned that the tradition is maintained at Tokyo 2020 Olympics with 150,000 condoms supplied but that the organizers requested athletes to “take them back home.”
There are many regulations and practices that the Olympic organizers have set in place to combat the pandemic; however, dissuading athletes from participating in sexual activities with cardboard beds is not one of them.