- Rumors spread that the cardboard beds at the Tokyo Olympics were designed to prevent sex.
- The US runner Paul Chelimo tweeted about the theory over the weekend.
- The Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan tested their strength in a video that showed him jumping on his.
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The Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan filmed himself jumping on his bed in the athletes’ village of the Tokyo Olympics to disprove a rumor that they were designed to discourage sex.
“In today’s episode of fake news at the Olympic Games, the beds are meant to be anti-sex: They’re made out of cardboard, yes, but apparently they’re meant to break at any sudden movements. It’s fake, fake news!” McClenaghan said as he jumped up and down on the bed.
The rumor appears to have originated with the American distance runner Paul Chelimo, who posted pictures of cardboard bed frames to Twitter on Saturday, saying they were “aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes.”
-Rhys Mcclenaghan (@McClenaghanRhys) July 18, 2021
“Beds will be able to withstand the weight of a single person to avoid situations beyond sports,” Chelimo wrote.
The anti-sex theory took off from there, with the New York Post publishing a story a day later, writing that the beds were “allegedly designed to collapse under the weight of fornicators to discourage sex amid COVID-19.”
Olympics officials have said the beds are made of cardboard to make the games greener.
Back in January, officials unveiled the cardboard beds and mattresses made from polyethylene materials, both of which can be recycled after the games, the Associated Press reported at the time.
The beds are also meant to hold up to 440 pounds, which in most cases should be more than enough to handle the weight of two athletes.
Cardboard is unlikely to be the most significant deterrent for Olympians looking for love in Tokyo.
The condoms that have been given out to athletes since the 1988 Seoul Games are expected to be provided in much smaller quantities this year – and only to athletes as they leave for home – according to the AP.
Japan is experiencing another rise in coronavirus cases, and spectators have been barred from the games.