TOKYO — Photos of beds intended for athletes in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics are going viral on Monday, after the disposable cardboard bedding — meant to cut down on COVID-19 transmission — were alleged to discourage competitors from getting busy.
The recyclable beds were seen in a tweet by 2016 Olympic medalist Paul Chelimo, who said they were “aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes.” Rumors also claim the beds can only support a single person’s weight, according to tweets.
There are about 18,000 beds and mattresses ready for athletes, according to The New York Times. But another Olympian is striking down claims that the beds are “anti sex.”
In a tweet over the weekend, Irish gymnast Rhy McClenaghan could be seen jumping on the bed, prompting the Olympics’ account to say “Thanks for debunking the myth.”
Airweave, the Japanese company who built the beds, also jumped in, explaining that the cardboard beds are stronger than they look — even stronger than the beds “made of wood or steel.”
The possibly sex-capable cardboard bedding can sustain up to 440 pounds, according to Airweave.
They’re among many of the measures the Olympics is taking to keep social distancing in place and prevent the virus from spreading. Over the weekend, several competitors tested positive for COVID-19, including U.S. tennis player Coco Gauff and U.S. women’s gymnastics alternate Kara Eaker.
While athlete beds aren’t anti-sex, the Olympics is still encouraging athletes to take to beds alone. Condoms, however, will be provided — although supplies will be much lower than previous games. In 2016, about 450,000 were available.