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Gymnast Debunks Olympics 'Myth' by Jumping on Bed

Athletes will sleep on cardboard beds, but it's not an anti-sex strategy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2021 8:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – An Olympic gymnast posted a video of himself that is now in wide circulation, but it's not the type of video you might expect. Ireland's Rhys McClenaghan is nowhere near a set of a parallel bars or even a gym. Instead, he's in his Olympic dorm room in Tokyo jumping on a bed, reports Reuters. His purpose? To debunk a social media rumor that the beds, made entirely of recycled cardboard, were chosen to deter athletes from having sex. "Fake news!" says McClenaghan as he jumps on the bed to show how sturdy it is. The official Twitter account of the Games even reposted the video, adding, "Thanks for debunking the myth."

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This particular rumor apparently got a push thanks to a jokey tweet from American distance runner Paul Chelimo. “Beds to be installed in Tokyo Olympic Village will be made of cardboard, this is aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes,” he wrote. “Beds will be able to withstand the weight of a single person to avoid situations beyond sports. I see no problem for distance runners, even 4 of us can do.” As the New York Times notes, the beds can withstand up to 440 pounds. Not that organizers are encouraging "intimacy" as COVID is spreading. They've banned sales of alcohol and are distributing far fewer condoms to athletes than usual—and making clear they want the condoms used by the athletes only when they return home. (Athletes continue to test positive for the coronavirus.)

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