Tokyo Olympics “Anti-Sex” Beds Being Used for COVID-19 Patients in Japan

The repurposed cardboard beds will be set up in a temporary medical facility

Olympic flags with the Olympic rings and Tokyo Olympics logo, as well as Japanese and American flags, are hoisted on flagpoles
The cardboard beds from the Tokyo Olympics aren't being recycled quite yet, they're being reused.
Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty

With the ongoing state of emergency in Tokyo and 18 other areas extended last week until September 30, the Japanese government is using some of the beds that were used at the Tokyo Olympics for a different purpose.

As Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura confirmed to reporters over the weekend, 800 of the cardboard “anti-sex” beds that Olympic and Paralympic athletes slept on in Tokyo will be made available to COVID-19 patients and are going to be set up at a temporary medical facility in the prefecture by the end of this month, per The Japan Times. “Those beds were for Olympians and they are high quality,” Yoshimura told reporters.

Initially thought to be unable to support the weight of more than one person, the recyclable beds were quickly labeled as “anti-sex” and were a major topic of conversation at the start of the rescheduled 2020 Summer Games.

As it turns out, the beds can support more than 400 pounds, according to organizers. “The organizing committee was thinking about recyclable items, and the bed was one of the ideas,” Takashi Kitajima, the general manager of the Athletes Village, told the Associated Press in 2020. “They are stronger than wooden beds.”

Now those beds, which were made by the company Airweave, will enjoy a second life. Interestingly, Airweave considered donating the beds to hospitals when the pandemic began but held off. “Once we knew the Olympics would be postponed by a year, we reckoned we could put the beds to use for more pressing purposes,” company CEO Motokuni Takaoka told VICE World News. “But the pandemic never got bad enough where prefectures were scrambling for beds. So we’re happy to put them to good use now.”

Unlike many other developed countries, Japan elected not to use a lockdown. The country has counted more than 1.65 million COVID-19 cases and 16,700 deaths, per the AP.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!