Olympians are used to surmounting obstacles on their way to the Games. But this summer, they may be contending with an impenetrable opponent.

Cardboard!

Organizers for Paris 2024 recently ordered cardboard beds for the Olympic Village, in a move to prioritize sustainability. The plan is for the 16,000 beds to be recycled afterwards.

The cardboard beds debuted at the 2021 Tokyo Games, and were repurposed into paper products. But sustainability wasn’t the only priority of Olympic organizers that year. Social distancing was mandated as well.

And therein lies the conspiratorial reasoning for the recyclable bedding: No sex!

Despite assurances the beds would be strong, athletes were rightfully skeptical. There were questions about whether the beds could support a good night’s sleep, never mind some post-game activity.

In a viral tweet, Team USA track and field athlete Paul Chelimo theorized the beds were designed to discourage intimacy. “Beds will be able to withstand the weight of a single person to avoid situations beyond sports,” he wrote.

It seems blasphemous that organizers in Paris, one of the most romantic destinations in the world, would outfit bedrooms with cardboard. The City of Light has played host to some all-time great dalliances.

Olympians deserve to cool down, or heat themselves back up, in the most Persian of ways.

There’s also the fact that organizers recently ordered 300,000 condoms for athletes this year. Talk about mixed signals! With roughly 9,000 athletes expected to attend, that averages out to almost two condoms per day, and 30 per athlete.

“It is very important that the conviviality here is something big,” Olympic Village director Laurent Michaud told Sky News. “Working with the athletes commission, we wanted to create some places where the athletes would feel very enthusiastic and comfortable.”

The tradition of ordering condoms for Olympic athletes dates back to the 1988 Seoul Games, as part of an effort to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS.

Over the ensuing years, an increasing number of rubbers were ordered for each Olympics, topping out at the 450,000 condoms distributed at the 2016 Rio Games (42 per athlete).

With some of the most in-shape 20-somethings in the world all sleeping around each other, the Olympic Village sounds like a promiscuous paradise.

But that doesn’t mean it necessarily is. New Zealand rower Robbie Manson, who publicly came out in 2014, told Queerty the sexual hype around the village is overblown.

“I guess Grindr just goes off there. I don’t know what it’s like now, but you can change your location to be in other places,” he said. “There’s a lot of activity there, but not a lot were actual athletes. I think people changed their locations to be there.”

But this year, it sounds like the arrangement may have to work the other way. That is, if the conspiracy is true.

As more athletes arrived to the village in 2021, Chelimo’s theory on the “anti-sex” beds was put to the test. Argentine basketball stars Francisco Caffaro and Tayavek Gallizzi jumped on them together…at a combined weight of 480 pounds.

The beds remained intact, though from afar, it’s hard to know for sure. We’re thinking a personal invitation will have to be in order this year…

If Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan needs a sparring jumping partner, he should let us know, too…

Even if the cardboard beds don’t hold up, we would still count on queer athletes finding a way. They’re used to overcoming the odds, after all.

Don't forget to share:

Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...

We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated