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Tokyo Olympic beds are sturdy, IOC says after ‘anti-sex’ report

/ 03:26 PM July 19, 2021
This file photo taken on June 20, 2021 shows recyclable cardboard beds and mattresses for athletes during a media tour at the Olympic and Paralympic Village for the Tokyo 2020 Games in Tokyo. - For athletes competing at the Tokyo Games, the Olympic Village will be almost all they see, with strict coronavirus rules preventing them from leaving the compound except to train and compete.

(FILES) This file photo taken on June 20, 2021 shows recyclable cardboard beds and mattresses for athletes during a media tour at the Olympic and Paralympic Village for the Tokyo 2020 Games in Tokyo. Photo by Akio KON / POOL / AFP

The cardboard beds at the Tokyo Olympic Village are “sturdy,” organizers reassured on Monday after a report warned they weren’t strong enough for sex.

Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan filmed himself jumping repeatedly on a bed to prove the point, after the report in the New York Post claimed the beds were deliberately flimsy to promote social distancing.

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“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 posted on Twitter.

The official Olympics Twitter account thanked McClenaghan for “debunking the myth,” adding “the sustainable beds are sturdy!”

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The report in the New York Post was based on a tweet, apparently tongue-in-cheek, by US distance runner Paul Chelimo who said the cardboard beds were “aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes”.

“Beds will (only) be able to withstand the weight of a single person to avoid situations beyond sports,” he tweeted.

It’s not the first time the beds, which signal a commitment to sustainability, have come into question.

In January, manufacturer Airweave said they can withstand a weight of 200 kilos (440 pounds) and have been through rigorous stress tests, after Australian basketball player Andrew Bogut queried their durability.

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“We’ve conducted experiments, like dropping weights on top of the beds,” a spokesperson told AFP.

“As long as they stick to just two people in the bed, they should be strong enough to support the load.”

Thousands of athletes will stay at the Olympic Village during the pandemic-delayed 2020 Tokyo Games, which start on Friday.

Despite warnings to “avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact,” organizers are expected to hand out 160,000 condoms.

But the organizing committee told AFP: “The distributed condoms are not meant to be used at the Olympic Village.”

Instead, they are supposed to be “brought back by athletes to their respective home countries and to help them support the campaign to raise awareness (about HIV/AIDS),” it added.

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