The cardboard beds that went viral from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will make a resurgence at the 2024 Games in Paris. The 2024 Olympic organizing committee confirmed that they have selected Japanese mattress manufacturer Airweave, which will supply an impressive tally of 16,000 cardboard beds for all athletes housed in the Olympic and Paralympic Villages, as well as journalists staying at the Media Village.
🛏️ Japanese company Airweave will deliver 16,000 recyclable cardboard beds for the 2024 Paris Olympics pic.twitter.com/PQI3OWyq4d
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 14, 2023
To relieve any concerns about the size, these beds come in a standard dimension of nearly three feet wide and six and a half feet in length. However, the beds can be extended to 2.20 meters for tall athletic superstars (like seven-foot basketball player Victor Wembanyama of France). After all, we don’t want Olympians’ or Paralympians’ legs dangling off the end of the bed.
You might recall the frenzy on social media surrounding these cardboard beds during the previous Olympics. Some suggested that Tokyo 2020 organizers were being “anti-sex,” as if these beds were specifically engineered to sabotage athletes’ romantic and athletic endeavours. The rumors were swiftly debunked when videos flooded the TikTok app showing Olympic athletes jumping on the beds to test their sturdiness.
The truth about the cardboard beds at the Tokyo Olympics
Two-time US Olympic 5,000m medalist Paul Chelimo shared his thoughts on the cardboard beds, stating that it likely wouldn’t be a problem for distance runners, and how they could probably fit four of them.
Motokuni Takaoka, the esteemed founder of Airweave, joined the athletes in this whimsical testing routine. He gleefully jumped on the beds himself to demonstrate their durability, exclaiming, “We have designed these cardboard beds for three or four people jumping because after winning a medal, athletes get very happy!” Who can argue with that?
paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet expressed his satisfaction with Airweave’s beds, praising their use of recycled materials in line with the organizing committee’s sustainability aspirations. “We were impressed by Airweave’s technology,” he said in a press release. “We know that we have a solid partner in terms of sustainability and delivery.”
When cardboard beds reach the end of their useful life at the Olympics, they are broken down and recycled. Unlike other materials that may contribute to landfill waste, cardboard is biodegradable, making them an easy eco-friendly choice to promote a greener Olympic Games.