Tokyo Olympics reportedly used cardboard beds to prevent athletes from having sex

The Tokyo Olympics are apparently taking some pretty extreme measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among athletes. Sunday July 19, TMZ reported that officials have installed cardboard beds for athletes to sleep on, which are designed to break if someone tries to have sex with them. The hope would be to prevent sexual encounters in the famous Olympic Village and that would significantly reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading.

Photos of the cardboard beds began appearing on Twitter on Friday, July 16 thanks to Olympic runner Paul Chelimo. He shared a photo of an unfolded cardboard structure as well as one where the beds were folded up, made of “Tokyo 2020” sheets and placed in dormitories. Chelimo, at least, found the beds funny, writing, “I don’t see any problem for long-distance runners, even 4 of us can do it” with a laughing emoji. He added: “I can’t fly a Polaris business then sleep on a cardboard box! Now the economy is very perfecto!”

TMZ seemed to confirm that the beds weren’t a joke concocted by Chelimo or anyone else participating in the games. The beds are said to have been designed by a company called Airweave, and they’re actually more complicated than it looks. They have fit and configuration options for specific individuals, they are recyclable, and it was cheap to make 18,000.

As for the theory that they are meant to deter athletes from having sex, the International Olympic Committee has neither confirmed nor denied it. However, the Olympics are notoriously a time of promiscuity for the athletes, who congregate in one small place for a long time, full of nerves and apprehension. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they’re generally in the best shape of their lives.

It’s no surprise that sex is an extremely high-risk activity for the spread of COVID-19. The virus is found in saliva and other bodily fluids, and can also be transmitted by particles in the breath. Early on, the CDC and many state-run public health organizations issued warnings regarding sexual touching during the pandemic, which immediately spawned entire genres of memes. An infographic from NYC.gov went viral for her very specific advice on sexual safety.

The Tokyo Olympics begin on Friday July 23 and end on Sunday August 8, with live coverage on most major news networks. Stay tuned for updates on the games and efforts to keep the Olympic Village safe during the pandemic.