Two sets of bedroom furniture, including cardboard beds, for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Villages are shown in a display room on Thursday. Photo: AP/Jae C Hong
2020 tokyo olympics

An Olympic first: Cardboard beds for Tokyo Athletes Village

15 Comments
By STEPHEN WADE

Tokyo Olympic athletes beware — particularly larger ones.

The bed frames in the Athletes Village at this year's Olympics will be made of cardboard. Sturdy cardboard.

“Those beds can stand up to 200 kilograms,” explained Takashi Kitajima, the general manager of the Athletes Village, speaking through an interpreter.

That's about 440 pounds, and surely no Olympic athlete weighs that much.

“They are stronger than wooden beds,” Kitajima added.

He also took into account the possibility of a wild room celebration after, say, a gold-medal victory.

“Of course, wood and cardboard would each break if you jumped on them," he said.

The single bed frames will be recycled into paper products after the games. The mattress components — the mattresses are not made of cardboard — will be recycled into plastic products.

The mattress is broken up into three distinct sections, and the firmness of each can be adjusted.

The idea was to use materials that could be remade after the Olympics and Paralympics. But the cardboard frames and supports should give the rooms a spartan look.

Organizers showed off the beds and a few other furnishings on Thursday at their headquarters. The entire Athletes Village complex will be completed in June. The Olympics open on July 24 followed by the Paralympics on Aug. 25.

“The organizing committee was thinking about recyclable items, and the bed was one of the ideas,” Kitajima explained, crediting local Olympic sponsor Airweave Inc. for the execution.

Organizers say this is the first time that the beds and bedding in the Athletes Village have been made of renewable materials.

The Athletes Village being built alongside Tokyo Bay will comprise 18,000 beds for the Olympics and be composed to 21 apartment towers. Even more building construction is being planned in the next several years.

Real estate ads say the units will be sold off afterward, or rented, with sale prices starting from about 54 million yen — or about $500,000 — and soaring to three or four times that much. Some fear the apartments will flood the market, possibly impacting property values.

The units will be sold off by various real estate companies. Ads suggest many of the units will be slightly larger than a typical apartment in Tokyo, which is about 60-70 square meters — or 650-750 square feet.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


15 Comments
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On the positive side, it's very eco friendly and great use of the most easily recyclable commidity. Kudos.

On the cynical side. Won't it be lovely the athletes can sleep on cardboard, just like all the homeless people displaced and hidden during construction of the sites and during the actual event in July.

On the funny side, I guarantee one athlete will "break" their bed. Instagram post of a athlete lying on a collapsed bed will go viral. You can book it.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

IME, when you get lots of extremely fit athletes together, put them in dorms, there is going to be lots of sex.

Hopefully the beds can take it AND at least a 6in mattress will be provided. Getting enough quality sleep is critical for the best performance.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Quick note... I'm actually in favor the Olympics so...

Just knowing how much Mori and his cronies waste on nomikai meetings every couple days for Olympic 'business' and the luxury outings set up to woo the international press... and this is what they've got set up for the actual athletes and trainers? If you've ever worked in business administration in Japan - you know exactly the degree of money that was wasted just coming up with these. The designer(s), the meetings, the lunches, the QE testing, the nomikai, the nomikai, the nomikai... they could have saved so much money just buying beds with eco-friendly bamboo frames. The ONLY reason to do something like this is to look like you're doing something economically beneficial without having to. This doesn't save any money, this doesn't save any resources, this looks ridiculous, and the second any athlete does a hard sit-down it will all be kaput.

This is so infuriating. Japan has so many top level creative minds when it comes to design and apparently they consulted exactly 0 of them. My 6 year old daughter could have designed this better.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I agree with savethegaijin. This is eco window dressing, which will have been produced with lots of tasty insider enrichment.

Personally, to make an eco bed, I would design something out of wood with interlocking pieces that were not longer than say 45cm. The point here is that the bed frame could then fit in a cardboard box and be inexpensively transported or sent by courier mail to the next owner, or a disaster zone even. Oversized items are very expensive to transport and send. It means they often get thrown out instead of being passed onto someone.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

IME, when you get lots of extremely fit athletes together, put them in dorms, there is going to be lots of sex. 

Testing procedures soon to be posted on......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cardboard, eh?

For roughly 18.000 participants.

Now that sounds like lots of trees to be cut.

Agree, bamboo would have been the best (and also looking nice) solution.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ridiculous. It would have been much better, and finally something in line with the Olympics spirit to donate real beds later to institutions in Japan or even better, to needy countries within the Olympic organisation. Recycling is far far overpraised as a solution. Use and reuse is much better as only 2 % of what is recyclable actually gets recycled. and the quality of the mattresses must be horrible. Plastic , as “ wil be recycled into plastic products “, consisting out of “ 3 different sections “ . As a sports management expert I also confer that there is quite some sexual activity in the Olympic village and stories of athletes falling through the beds will make the press. Of course. This is another proof and nothing else of how little LOC and IOC care about athletes or are they also going to sleep on the same beds at the Peninsula, mandarin or Palace hotel? If anyone deserves good quality beds it’s the athletes.

shame on LOC for cooking it up and on IOC for not preventing it. Surely there are enough “technical commissions” visiting Japan to stop this kind of fake ecological nonsense to be allowed.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

losing faith in the Japanese way of technology and innovation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This article doesn't mention the length of the beds, but the BBC one did https://www.bbc.com/sport/olympics/51045519

2.10 m that is shorter than a lot of the basketball players so wonder why they are going to do?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

From all the possibles...this is the best they sprang up with? It only takes one athlete - just one - to claim injury against the bed and...well, I leave it to your own imaginative summary.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

haha,this looks horrible... what a morale destroyer

3 ( +3 / -0 )

IKEA would be better. So Japanese athletes will sleep well at home at night and visitors will sleep like homeless? Great way to improve the medal count.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

hm... since they're already supplying a mattress of some sort, why not just supply that and forget the frame? When we visit family in Japan that's how we sleep - just bedding on the floor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

2.10 m that is shorter than a lot of the basketball players so wonder why they are going to do?

Tall people are used to sleeping with their feet, ankles over the edge. Especially in the summer, when it is warm, my huge feet are like cooling radiators. Plus, knees do bend. Use a knee pillow to help with spine alignment. I'm barely considered tall back home. In my own bed, my feet go off the end with straight legs too. Tall people are used to these things.

I'm guessing some IOC member has a brother or other relative who decided to get into the cardboard bed business and this was the promised free advertising payoff.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All these beds are going to break or people will try to make them break..... perhaps they can build massive forts with them

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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