Olympic athletes to sleep on beds made from cardboard

How comfortable are they?

A look at what rooms are like inside the Tokyo Olympic village. (COURTESY: GETTY IMAGES)

The bed frames for athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be made from recyclable cardboard.

The mattresses for the beds will be formed of polyethylene materials that will be reused for plastic products after the events.

There will be 18,000 beds needed for the Olympics, and 8,000 for the Paralympics.

The beds will be 2.10 metres long and the manufacturers say they will be able to support a weight of about 200kg, which is more than any athlete weighed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

As part of plans to be more environmentally friendly, the Olympic torch is made from aluminium waste and the podiums from recycled household and marine plastic waste, while electricity will come from renewable sources.

The Tokyo Olympics are set to take place between 24 July and 9 August 2020 and the Paralympics from 25 August to 6 September.

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

"They are stronger than wooden beds," Kitajima added.

The single bed frames will be recycled into paper products after the games. The mattress components 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. Organizers showed off the beds and a few other furnishings last year at their headquarters.


The entire Athletes Village will be open to all athletes on July 24 followed by the Paralympics on August 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 comprises of 18,000 beds for the Olympics which will be restructured to 21 apartment towers.

Real estate ads say the units will be sold off afterward, or rented, with sale prices starting from about 54 million yen—or about sh50,000,000—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.


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