Taipei (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese table tennis athlete Chuang Chih-yuan (莊智淵) on Monday (July 19) posted a photo of himself sitting on one of the Olympic Village's controversial cardboard beds.
After Taiwanese netizens were enraged over the spartan conditions of badminton star Tai Tzu-ying's (戴資穎) room at the Marroad Inn Tokyo, a photo of Chuang's even more modest accommodations in the Olympic Village went viral on social media. Chuang, known as "Taiwan's Godfather of table tennis," is competing in his fifth Olympics.
Chuang announced on his Facebook page on Monday that he had safely arrived in Tokyo and wrote that he "dared not take off my mask until I got to my room." He then posted a photo of his room in the Olympic Village and a dining area.
Unlike badminton "Queen" Tai's room, which had two full beds, Chuang's room appears to be half the size and comes equipped with two of the infamous cardboard twin-sized beds. American distance runner Paul Chelimo has speculated on Twitter that the beds were "aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes."
Soon, the beds became known on social media as "anti-sex" beds. However, Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan on his Twitter page debunked the notion that the beds were flimsy by vigorously jumping up and down on his cardboard cot.
The organizers of the Tokyo Olympics insist the beds are "sturdy" and will be "turned into recycled paper after the Games."
Chuang's post has garnered over 4,000 likes and 196 comments. The majority of netizens left words of encouragement, but many also expressed concern about the size of the bed and its sturdiness:
"The bed looks so small..."
"You put in a lot of hard work. The bed looks so small and doesn't seem very comfortable. Hopefully, the competitors can have a good rest."
"The resources they have been given are really poor. How can they stretch out and relax on such a small bed?"
"I heard it is corrugated paper beneath. Please be careful when you sleep at night."
"This room looks a lot better [than Tai's]. Jiayou Chuang!"
Beds to be installed in Tokyo Olympic Village will be made of cardboard, this is aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes— Paul Chelimo (@Paulchelimo) July 17, 2021
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 pic.twitter.com/J45wlxgtSo
“Anti-sex” beds at the Olympics pic.twitter.com/2jnFm6mKcB— Rhys Mcclenaghan (@McClenaghanRhys) July 18, 2021