Paul Chelimo: Cardboard Beds at Tokyo Olympics Are to Avoid Athletes Being Intimate

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IV

EUGENE, OREGON - JUNE 27: Paul Chelimo competes in the Men's 5,000 Meter Run during day ten of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 27, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

American long-distance runner Paul Chelimo said the beds in the Olympic Village for the Summer Games in Tokyo have been constructed to prevent intimacy among athletes amid COVID-19 restrictions.

Chelimo, who captured a silver medal in the men's 5,000-meter race at the 2016 Rio Games, provided a look at the cardboard beds Friday on Twitter:

Paul Chelimo🇺🇸🥈🥉 @Paulchelimo

Beds to be installed in Tokyo Olympic Village will be made of cardboard, this is aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes<br><br>Beds will be able to withstand the weight of a single person to avoid situations beyond sports.<br><br>I see no problem for distance runners,even 4 of us can do😂 <a href="https://t.co/J45wlxgtSo">pic.twitter.com/J45wlxgtSo</a>

"At this point I will have to start practicing how to sleep on the floor; cause If my bed collapses  and I have no training on sleeping on the floor i'm done," Chelimo wrote in the light-hearted Twitter thread. "More added stress heading into Tokyo!"

As the "anti-sex" beds picked up steam on the internet, Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan shared a video on Twitter to debunk the matter:

Rhys Mcclenaghan @McClenaghanRhys

“Anti-sex” beds at the Olympics <a href="https://t.co/2jnFm6mKcB">pic.twitter.com/2jnFm6mKcB</a>

In June, Justin McCurry of the Guardian reported Tokyo organizers ordered 160,000 condoms for the Games but also updated the Olympic playbook to say athletes must "avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact." 

Athletes who break the social-distancing guidelines in Japan face potential penalties that include fines, disqualification or deportation, per McCurry.

In 2012, Sam Alipour of ESPN The Magazine provided details from former Olympic athletes about the not-so-secret fact that the Olympic Village is typically quite a party during the Games.

"I'm running a friggin' brothel in the Olympic Village! I've never witnessed so much debauchery in my entire life," Josh Lakatos, a member of Team USA at the 1996 and 2000 Games, said.

Taylor Phinney, a three-time Olympic cyclist, said he lost focus on why he was at the 2008 Beijing Games.

"This is going to sound stupid, but I almost forgot I had to race," Phinney told Alipour.

Tokyo organizers are clearly doing everything in their power to avoid that type of atmosphere as the country faces a surge in COVID-19 cases ahead of Friday's opening ceremony.