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Are Cardboard Beds & Condoms Really Necessary For Athletes At The Paris 2024 Olympics?

TLDR: Athletes at their peak often unwind and connect by getting underneath the sheets.
As more than 10,500 athletes gather for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the Olympic Village will be a centre of attention for athletic excellence and the human interactions that come with it.

For over three decades, the mix of peak physical performance and social interaction has led to a recurring story: sexual activities at the Olympic Village.

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Here are some fun facts about this lesser-known aspect of the Games.

Cardboard or anti-sex beds?

Cardboard bed at olympics tokyo
Photo via EdgeProp

The Paris 2024 Olympics will feature cardboard beds, which were first used at the Tokyo 2021 Games. These beds, designed for sustainability and comfort during warm nights, were also humorously dubbed “anti-sex” beds.

Some speculated they were meant to prevent sexual activity, but this turned out to be incorrect. The beds can support up to 250kg and are part of the efforts to make the Games more environmentally friendly.

Sex at the Olympic Village isn’t a modern phenomenon

Susen tiedtke
Photo via The Sun

Former Olympian Susen Tiedtke, who competed in the 1992 and 2000 Olympics, has openly discussed the reality of sex in the Olympic Village.

She explained that athletes, often at their physical peak, tend to seek ways to release their energy post-competition. Tiedtke highlighted that sex has always been an issue in the village, rendering any attempts to ban it ineffective.

This perspective was echoed by Hope Solo, a two-time gold medal-winning American soccer player, who recounted instances of athletes engaging in sexual activities openly within the village.

The tradition of distributing condoms began at the 1988 Seoul Olympics to prevent the spread of HIV-AIDS. This initiative provided 8,500 condoms, thus acknowledging the existence of sexual activity among athletes.

Photo via PUNCH

Despite the precautions, there were reports of condoms being littered on rooftops, subsequently leading to a ban on outdoor sex, which unfortunately did little to stop the behaviour.

When the Sydney 2000 Olympics rolled around, organisers distributed 70,000 condoms but had to order 20,000 more due to high demand. This highlighted the open secret that the Olympic Village was a hotspot for sexual activity.

In 2002, Salt Lake City in Utah protested against the distribution of 100,000 condoms at the Winter Olympics. Yet, the practice of athletes tangling their bodies with each other continued unabated.

During the COVID-19 pandemic where people were strongly discouraged from being at close proximity with each other, sexual activity experienced unprecedented restrictions during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in order to break the chain of infection.

Additionally, the IOC distributed 160,000 condoms with the intention of treating them as souvenirs to promote HIV-AIDS awareness as well as an attempt to dissuade athletes from getting involved in sexual activity.

Dating apps on fire (not literally)

By the time Beijing 2008 Olympics was officially launched, the Olympic Village’s reputation as a hub of sexual activity was well-established.

Tinder and grindr app
Photo via Rappler

Athletes and celebrities engaged in hookups, and the 2012 London Games saw the dating app Grindr crash due to high usage.

In Sochi 2014, Tinder’s user base surged by 400%, and the Rio 2016 Olympics saw a new record being set with the distribution of 450,000 condoms along with 175,000 packets of lubricant.

With such high figures in terms of condoms and dating apps usage, why can’t sexual activity be put to a stop?

As mentioned earlier, sex in the Olympic Village is a longstanding aspect of the Games. Athletes, when at their physical and emotional peak, naturally will seek ways to unwind and connect. And there’s no easier way to do so than to get underneath the sheets.

And with the Paris 2024 Olympics approaching soon, it doesn’t seem that the Village will be shedding its image of being a sexually-charged atmosphere anytime soon.

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