No, The Tokyo Olympics Does Not Have 'Anti-Sex' Beds, Athletes, Reporters Say
Aside from forcing Tokyo officials to postpone the Olympic Games, banning fans from attending events, and barring athletes' family members from cheering on their loved ones in person as they compete, it seems the pandemic has also put a damper on yet another quintessential facet of the quadrennial sporting event, at least according to one pervasive internet rumor – its long-running reputation as one of the horniest gatherings of all time.
With the games only a few days away, several stories have arisen surrounding the athlete accommodations, namely, that the cardboard beds appearing in the Olympic Village were designed to prevent athletes from getting it on in light of social distancing rules, a notion partially perpetuated by several news outlets, including the New York Post as well as Team USA runner, Paul Chelimo. “Beds to be installed in Tokyo Olympic Village will be made of cardboard, this is aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes,” Chelimo wrote alongside four photos of the Olympic Village's provisions from the Associated Press. “Beds will be able to withstand the weight of a single person to avoid situations beyond sports."
Fortunately for Chelimo and his teammates, it seems this setup would not likely be a problem. “I see no problem for distance runners, even 4 of us can do,” he added alongside a laughing emoji.
Despite these claims of official celibacy measures, several accounts have emerged over the past several days arguing that the cardboard beds are not actually the "anti-sex" beds they've been touted as. Over the weekend, Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan has attempted to put this bed-related rumor to rest, proving that despite its cardboard composure, the Olympic beds could get a 'rockin without sending those getting it on plummeting towards the floor.
"In today's episode of fake news at the Olympic Games, the beds are meant to be 'anti-sex'," explained McClenaghan in a video posted to Twitter, evidently inspired by his favorite Cracked writer. "They're made out of cardboard yes, but apparently they're meant to break at any sudden movements," he added while bouncing on his bed. “it's fake, fake news!”
The gymnast is far from alone in debunking the rumor of the Olympic beds. “These beds were designed long before Covid, and the aim was not to prevent athletes from having sex but to promote eco-consciousness as they are 100% recyclable,” wrote freelance reporter, Joshua Hunt. “I'll never understand why western media are so obsessed with projecting weird sex narratives on Japan.”
While it is unclear when, exactly, the idea came about, it was mentioned as a recycling measure in the Sustainability Pre-Games Report from April 2020, in the good ‘ol days when we thought we’d be out of this nightmare by summer. “Bed Frames made of 100 per cent highly durable cardboard materials will be used for sleeping accommodations in the Olympic/Paralympic village,” reads a passage from the report. “These will be turned into recycled paper after the games."
Aside from the recycling aspect of the bed design, it seems dissuading sex was not a likely consideration in their design due to the fact that organizers of the games planned to give away 150,000 condoms, although due to Covid-19, athletes are encouraged to bring them home to “raise awareness” of HIV and Aids, according to a statement Tokyo 2020 gave to Reuters via email.
Furthermore, despite popular misconception, Olympians come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from Gymnastics GOAT Simone Biles, who is just 4' 8", to Team USA basketball player JaVale McGee, who stands at a staggering 7'0" and weighs 270 pounds, according to his stats listed on Team USA's website. As such, the accommodations within the Olympic village would need to accommodate both these athletes and many more in between, making designing a universal bed that breaks under the weight of more than one person almost impossible.
So, folks, remember – a cardboard bed does not a celibacy aid make.