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The Famed Cardboard Beds for Olympic Athletes Will Now Be Used for Japan's COVID-19 Patients

Japan News
by Olivia Harden Sep 21, 2021

Alongside the fantastic feats we saw from athletes during the 2020 Japan Olympic Games (held in 2021), Japan had it’s own memorable ways of welcoming athletes to the Olympic Village. One of the standouts was the cardboard beds, which upon first glance appeared rather budget but in actualitywere surprisingly comfy and could hold 200 kilograms (441 lbs).

The village housed 18,000 people at its peak, and Japan opted for cardboard as a means for sustainability. Now that the games are over, Governor Hirofumi Yoshima announced on September 18 that 800 of those beds will likely now be used at a temporary medical facility in Osaka for COVID-19 patients displaying little to no symptoms.

“Those beds were for Olympians and they are high quality,” Yoshimura told reporters.

Airweave Inc., the company that designed the beds, told the prefecture it is willing to donate the beds to the facility, which is to be built at an exhibition center. The average number of reported cases of COVID-19 is 4,996 per day.

“Once we knew the Olympics would be postponed by a year, we reckoned we could put the beds to use for more pressing purposes,” Motokuni Takaoka, CEO of Airweave Inc. told Vice. “But the pandemic never got bad enough [in Japan] where prefectures were scrambling for beds. So we’re happy to put them to good use now.”

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