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Compiled by Carien Grobler

Deputy Digital Editor


Paris 2024 Olympics: Spreading love with condoms, but no champagne

The cardboard-beds installed at the Olympic Village in Paris ahead of the 2024 games have also generated quite a buzz.


In the romantic city of Paris, where pandemic-era Olympic restrictions have eased, the 2024 Games are fostering connections among athletes once more. Approximately 300 000 condoms will be provided in the Olympic Village – nearly two per athlete for each day of the event.

After receiving the keys, Sky News accompanied Games officials on inspections of the Olympic Village, which will host 9 000 athletes in July.

An unexpected feature

During the tour, they discovered an unexpected feature: the bed frames are made of sturdy cardboard, capable of supporting up to 250kg of Olympian weight.

Dubbed “anti-sex” beds by organisers of the 2021 Tokyo Games, the cardboard-beds installed at the Olympic Village in Paris ahead of the 2024 games have generated quite a buzz. However, it’s essential to clarify that these beds were not specifically designed to discourage sexual activity.

Instead, they were created with sustainability in mind. Made from recyclable materials, including cardboard frames and mattresses, these beds aim to reduce environmental impact. 

Two condoms per athlete

Additionally, organisers have ensured that 300 000 condoms will be available in the Olympic Village. This renewed emphasis on international mingling contrasts with the social distancing measures in Tokyo and the previous intimacy ban imposed by the International Olympic Committee.

Even in Tokyo, where athletes had to wear masks and sleep on the cardboard beds, 150 000 condoms were handed out, although organisers said that “the distribution of condoms are to have athletes take them back to their home countries to raise awareness”.

Spaces created to make athletes feel comfortable

Laurent Michaud, the village director, emphasised the importance of creating a convivial atmosphere for athletes. Collaborating with the athletes’ commission, they aimed to establish welcoming spaces where athletes would feel enthusiastic and comfortable.

While a French staple won’t be on the menu in the village, athletes won’t go hungry. According to Michaud, “No champagne in the village, of course, but they can have all the champagne they want also in Paris.”

Instead, the village will offer an extensive 350-metre buffet featuring world cuisine. French specialties will also be available, prioritising athletes’ nutritional needs and performance.

The Olympic Village, a €2 billion (£1.7 billion) project, is primarily funded by property investors.

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