Olympic first as athletes’ village features cardboard beds for Tokyo 2020

By Stephen Wade, Associated Press

The bed frames in the athletes’ village at this year’s Olympics in Tokyo will be made of cardboard.

The single bed frames will be recycled into paper products after the Games, while the mattress components will be recycled into plastic products.

The mattress is broken up into three distinct sections, and the firmness of each can be adjusted.

The idea was to use materials that could be reused after the Olympics and Paralympics.

Cardboard beds in a display room in Tokyo (Jae C Hong/AP)

“Those beds can stand up to 200 kilograms,” said Takashi Kitajima, the general manager of the athletes’ village.

“They are stronger than wooden beds,” Mr Kitajima added.

He also took into account the possibility of a wild room celebration after, say, a gold medal victory.

“Of course, wood and cardboard would each break if you jumped on them,” he said.

Organisers showed off the beds and a few other furnishings at their headquarters.

The entire athletes’ village complex will be completed in June.

The Olympics open on July 24 followed by the Paralympics on August 25.

“The organising committee was thinking about recyclable items, and the bed was one of the ideas,” Mr Kitajima explained, crediting local Olympic sponsor Airweave for the execution.

Organisers say this is the first time that the beds and bedding in the athletes’ village have been made of renewable materials.

A journalist examines one of the beds (Jae C Hong/AP)

The athletes’ village being built alongside Tokyo Bay will comprise 18,000 beds for the Olympics and consist of 21 apartment towers.

Even more building construction is being planned in the next few years.

Real estate ads say the units will be sold off afterwards, or rented, with sale prices starting from about 54 million yen (£380,000) and soaring to three or four times that much.

Some fear the apartments will flood the market, possibly impacting property values.

The units will be sold off by various property companies.

Ads suggest many of the units will be slightly larger than a typical apartment in Tokyo, which is about 60-70 square metres (650-750 square feet).