Insight & Analysis

Tokyo 2020: let the games begin!

Published: Jul 2021

As the 2020 Tokyo Olympics finally manage to kick off after being postponed for a year, social media has been flooded with stories of the Olympic village, with cardboard beds coming under the spotlight!

Olympic Medals

Over the past week, social media has been full of speculation as to why all the beds in the Tokyo Olympic village are cardboard! Designed by world-famous architect Roisin Murphy, the beds had been designed not only with sustainability in mind but are able to hold 400 pounds.

Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan went viral last week after he shared a video on Twitter of himself jumping on the bed, which can support around 200 kilograms, proving they are well able to withstand any sudden movements.

The idea behind the use of cardboard in the Olympic village is all about sustainability, with the recyclable cardboard bed frames and mattresses made of polyethylene material destined to be reused to make plastic products once the games are over.

“In the age of environment, we’re about to run out of the world’s natural resources apparently so the use of materials is really important,” Roisin explained. “It is about that commitment to make the ordinary extraordinary”.

There were concerns surrounding making athletes who have trained for years and years sleep on cardboard beds! However, Roisin said the most important factor for comfort is the mattress, not the base.

So let the games begin!

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