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For First Time, Olympians Will Snooze on Cardboard Beds

Bed frames at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be made of cardboard
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 9, 2020 8:12 AM CST
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A journalist films a cardboard bed in a display room showing furniture for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic villages on Thursday in Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Tokyo Olympic athletes, beware—you may not want to celebrate your gold by jumping on the bed. That's because 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 village. That's about 440 pounds. "They are stronger than wooden beds," Kitajima added, per the AP. The single bed frames will be recycled into paper products after the games. The mattress components—the mattresses aren't 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.

Organizers showed off the beds and a few other furnishings on Thursday at their headquarters. "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 the beds and bedding in the athletes village have been made of renewable materials. The village being built alongside Tokyo Bay will comprise 18,000 beds for the Olympics and be repurposed afterward as 21 apartment towers. The entire athletes village complex will be completed in June. The Olympics open on July 24, followed by the Paralympics on Aug. 25. As for the possibility of a wild room celebration after, say, a gold-medal victory, Kitajima has this to say: "Of course, wood and cardboard would each break if you jumped on them."

(Read more 2020 Olympic Games stories.)

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