Excitement is currently building for Tokyo 2020, with people all over the world planning their trips to Japan’s bustling capital city to experience the exhilaration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in person when they kick off in July. As always, there is great interest in the daily lives of the athletes that compete, and this week the Olympic Village unveiled the rooms that they will be sleeping in, which come complete with recyclable cardboard beds.

Olmypic Games Cardboard Beds.jpg
Athletes at the 2020 Olympic Games will sleep on cardboard beds © The Asahi Shimbun

Designed to be eco-friendly and recyclable, the beds have already drummed up interest all over the world, with people wondering will cardboard be sturdy and comfortable enough for elite athletes competing at the top of their game. According to Takashi Kitajima, general manager of the Athletes Village, the beds are more than adequate. Speaking to The Associated Press, Kitajima said, “those beds can stand up to 200 kilograms. They are stronger than wooden beds.” Taking into account the fact that excitable athletes may be celebrating success, he added that the beds would break if jumped on, but was sure to point out that this was also the case with wood.

The bed frames are due to be recycled into paper products following the end of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, while the mattresses can be transformed into plastic products. With the Games set to kick off on 24 July, the rooms are due to be completed in June.

Athlete Village Tokyo.jpg
The rooms have purposefully been designed with a Spartan look and feel © The Asahi Shimbun

According to the organisers, this year is the first case that bedding will be made of recyclable material. Construction is currently underway on additional accommodation, with plans to sell the units off afterwards.

This year, Airbnb was named as an official partner of the Olympic Games under a nine-year, five-Game partnership. The scheme will see the company providing accommodation, cutting down some of the need for new infrastructures. As part of the partnership, Airbnb will run experiences that give members of the public a chance to get a glimpse of how athletes prepare for the Games.

Explore related stories

A woman wearing a face mask walks past the Olympic rings in front of the new National Stadium, the main stadium for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, on February 26, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Concerns that the Tokyo Olympics may be postponed or cancelled are increasing as Japan confirms 862 cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and as some professional sporting contests are being called off or rescheduled


The 2020 Olympic Games have officially been postponed

Mar 23, 2020 • 2 min read