There is little more tantalising in the lead-up to the Olympic Games than the sex lives of the fittest people in the world, with the athletes’ village generally seen as a non-stop party.
But in the lead-up to the Tokyo Games, the narrative has been a bit different, with Japan in the midst of a Covid crisis.
Fans won’t be able to attend events and athletes will be encouraged to fly out after completing their programmes.
Two athletes have already tested positive
in the Olympic village, while 21 others are being isolated as close contacts.
However, one of the traditional stories each Games is the number of condoms being handed out to athletes, with Tokyo organisers set to give out 160,000 prophylactics — or 14 per athlete.
It’s well short of the 450,000 dished out for the Rio Games in 2016, with the Tokyo organising committee saying: “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.”
The latest issue has been the village’s cardboard beds, which have been labelled “anti-sex”.
However, athletes have been quick to make a mockery of the claim.
Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan posted a video to social media — which had more than 650,000 views at time of writing — debunking the belief the beds wouldn’t stand up to action between the sheets.
“Anti-sex” beds at the Olympics pic.twitter.com/2jnFm6mKcB
— Rhys Mcclenaghan (@McClenaghanRhys) July 18, 2021
“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 under any sudden movements,” he says, jumping on his bed. “It’s fake. Fake news.”
American distance runner Paul Chelimo also tweeted that “I see no problem for distance runners, even four of us can do.”
Beds to be installed in Tokyo Olympic Village will be made of cardboard, this is aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes
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😂 pic.twitter.com/J45wlxgtSo
— Paul Chelimo🇺🇸🥈🥉 (@Paulchelimo) July 17, 2021
It’s far from the first time the bed issue has been brought up.
Before the 2020 Games were rescheduled, the general manager of the village explained that the beds could hold up to 200kg.
But former NBA star Andrew Bogut questioned what would happen when the condoms were put to use.
At the time, bed maker Airweave promised the beds had been through rigorous stress tests.
“We’ve conducted experiments, like dropping weights on top of the beds,” a spokesperson told AFP.
“As long as they stick to just two people in the bed, they should be strong enough to support the load.”
Earlier this year, organisers released a raft of new guidelines designed to help prevent the spread of Covid at the Games.
These rules included limiting physical contact such as kissing and hugging, singing and dancing. Sex was also on the red list.
“These Games in many respects will be different,” Olympic Games operations director Pierre Ducrey told Reuters in February.
“There will be a number of constraints and conditions that the participants will have to respect and follow, which will have an impact on their experience, particularly when it comes to social aspects.”