While the Olympic Games are a testament to the handwork, unwavering dedication and countless sacrifices the world’s best athletes have made to compete on such an international stage, it’s also an event that fuels rumours and questions from the public. Sure, we’d love to know about the quirky rituals or superstitions of the world’s best athletes, but more pressing than that is what goes on inside the Olympic Village. When one’s competition is over and they can finally let loose, is it just another kind of Schoolies, with the world’s fittest hooking up left and right? We’d like to think so.
For years though, talk of hookups in the Olympic village have been a source of great discussion, only in the age of a global pandemic it seems organisers are doing all they can to shut it down. With the Olympic Games already taking place in something of a bubble atmosphere, organisers in Tokyo are looking to ensure athletes also keep to social distancing restrictions back in their rooms. It’s led to the set up of 18,000 cardboard beds, according to Dezeen magazine. As American distance runner Paul Chelimo tweeted, “Beds to be installed in Tokyo Olympic Village will be made of cardboard, this is aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes.”
Chelimo joked, “Beds will be able to withstand the weight of a single person to avoid situations beyond sports. I see no problem for distance runners, even 4 of us can do.”
Given the tales of raucous, sex-crazed athletes running wild following their events in the Olympic Village, it’s almost upsetting that 2021’s cohort will miss out on such rites of passage. After all, you’ve trained this hard and for this long, surely you’re allowed to blow off a little steam. Along with the cardboard beds, officials are also distributing a cache of condoms to athletes, but unlike previous years 2021’s condom tally is capped at 160,000, a far cry from the 450,000 doled out for the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
In a statement to Japan Today, Tokyo Olympics Organising Committee said: “Our intent and goal is not for athletes to use the condoms at the Olympic Village, but to help with awareness by taking them back to their own countries.” Yikes.
But if it all sounded like doom and gloom for those headed to Tokyo, Rhys McClenaghan, a gymnast on Ireland’s Olympic team, has some good news. Demonstrating the sturdiness of the beds in a video posted to his Twitter account, the gymnast confirmed: “It’s fake news” As he jumped on one of the beds, it did look rather supportive, debunking the notion that they’re “anti-sex.”