"Cardboard beds are actually stronger than the one made of wood or steel."
Despite growing concerns over a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country and increased calls to cancel the event, Japan is going ahead with the Tokyo Olympics.
Athletes are slowly starting to arrive at the Olympic village and getting settled in for what will likely be one of the quietest international sporting events in recent memory.
As part of their allotted space, competitors were provided with beds entirely made out of renewable cardboard, leading some to claim they were designed as a preventative measure to stop the athletes from engaging in sexual intercourse — and, in the process, spreading COVID.
But say it ain't so. The theory was quickly debunked — with the help of some other Olympic athletes demonstrating the beds were astonishingly stable and more than capable.
Internet users were speculating the beds were intentionally "aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes," as American distance runner Paul Chelimo put it in a tweet, quipping that the unusual beds "will also be able to withstand the weight of a single person to avoid situations beyond sports."
But according to Olympic officials, the cardboard beds were not designed as an anti-COVID contraceptive. In fact, as The New York Times reports, they can hold up to 440 pounds — plenty of capacity for even the weightiest of contestants to get it on.
In a video uploaded to Twitter, Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan demonstrated the bed was capable of withstanding plenty of, well, vigorous activity.
“Anti-sex” beds at the Olympics pic.twitter.com/2jnFm6mKcB
— Rhys Mcclenaghan (@McClenaghanRhys) July 18, 2021
The official Olympics Twitter account later retweeted the video, adding "Thanks for debunking the myth." You heard it first from [McClenaghan] — the sustainable cardboard beds are sturdy!"
In fact, in a statement to the Times, the beds' maker Airweave claimed the "cardboard beds are actually stronger than the one made of wood or steel."
The Olympics committee did however put severe constraints in place to ensure the Games didn't turn into a massive outbreak of COVID. Spectators are no longer allowed inside the stadiums, for instance. Even alcohol sales will be banned.
An official playbook designed to inform athletes of the various safety measures is also recommending that they "avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact such as hugs, high-fives and handshakes."
The Tokyo Olympics are already off to a rocky start. Several dozen athletes have already tested positive this month, according to the Times. The newly emerged Delta variant of the virus is also causing cases to surge in the surrounding area.
But at least athletes can rest assured that their beds won't collapse if they do decide to indulge in some close physical contact with each other.
READ MORE: ‘Anti-Sex’ Beds in the Olympic Village? A Social Media Theory Is Soon Debunked [The New York Times]
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