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Olympic organizers said athletes' cardboard beds were "sturdy" after a gymnast made a video designed to debunk reports that they were meant to prevent intimate contact amid COVID fears.
Tokyo Olympics organizers on Monday assured that the cardboard beds at the Tokyo Games "are sturdy" after a gymnast debunked "anti-sex beds" reports.
In recent days, media reports suggested that organizers had equipped the Olympic Village with cardboard beds that would collapse under the weight of more than one person or any vigorous activity.
A report in the tabloid New York Post had cited a tweet by US distance runner Paul Chelimo as saying that the cardboard beds were "aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes," in a bid to promote social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Sunday, Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan filmed himself jumping on a bed to prove that reports of the so-called anti-sex beds were not true.
"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!"
Organizers said the bed frames were made from recyclable cardboard and mattresses made of polyethylene materials that would be reused to make plastic products after the Tokyo Games.
In January, the manufacturer of the cardboard beds, Airweave, said they could withstand around 200 kilograms (440 pounds).
"We've conducted experiments, like dropping weights on top of the beds," a spokesperson for Airweave told AFP news agency. "As long as they stick to just two people in the bed, they should be strong enough to support the load."
Although the Tokyo Games organizers have repeatedly warned athletes to "avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact," they are expected to hand out more than 150,000 condoms.
"The distribution of condoms is not for use at the athlete's village, but to have athletes take them back to their home countries to raise awareness" of HIV and AIDS issues, organizers told Reuters news agency.
Since the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has distributed large numbers of condoms at the competitions to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS.
But, this year, the IOC has come under criticism over another disease. The Tokyo Games organizers have received backlash for holding the event amid fears that it could facilitate the spread of the coronavirus and its variants.
fb/msh (AFP, Reuters)