About 16,000 beds are set to be provided by Airweave for athletes. GETTY IMAGES

The "anti-sex" beds arrived last Monday at the Olympic Village, which will host around 10,000 athletes from 26 July to 11 August in 82 buildings and 7,200 rooms. In preparation for Paris 2024, the organising committee will install 16,000 beds to improve rest during the event.

Just as they did for the first time at Tokyo 2020, the "anti-sex" beds will be back in the Olympic Village, this time for the Paris 2024 Olympics, in a different and innovative format, with the aim of prioritising athletes' rest. It has not gone unnoticed, and was commented on and discussed on social media.

About 16,000 beds are set to be provided by Airweave for athletes housed at the Olympic and Paralympic Villages in Saint-Denis and Châteauroux, where shooting is due to be held as well as for journalists at the Media Village in Dugny. It will be the second successive Games in which Airweave will supply beds, after also providing them  at Tokyo 2020.

The choice of cardboard as the main material is not only in line with ecological criteria. It is also part of the effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the Games and intended for recycling after the event. In addition, each competitor will use an app with which he or she can perfectly adjust the hardness of the mattress, made up of three different parts, according to his or her weight and height. 

The introduction of these beds, as well as their naming, was a commitment by the organisers of the Olympic Games to sustainability and a way of protecting the athletes. This has been done since Tokyo 2020 to demonstrate that one of the most important events in the world of sport can be committed to protecting the environment. 

However beyond the environmental commitment, the "anti-sex" beds were also designed to reduce potential intimate encounters between athletes. At the time, the world was just beginning to emerge from the global coronavirus pandemic. During Tokyo 2020, the dating app Tinder saw a 350% increase in usage. 

These special beds were preceded by health-related measures. For the Tokyo Games, the beds were designed to withstand loads of up to 200 kilograms. This was partly as an extra precaution during the pandemic. To ensure their strength, endurance tests were carried out, including throwing weights on the beds. 

During Tokyo 2020, athletes doubted that the "anti-sex" beds were designed to withstand a resistance of around 200 kg against sudden movements. They were therefore filmed during the test. American long-distance runner Paul Chelimo tweeted that the cardboard beds were "designed to prevent intimacy between athletes", in an attempt to promote social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On this occasion, however, Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan recorded himself jumping on a bed to demonstrate that reports of the so-called "anti-sex beds" were not true. He declared that they were "fake news".  The standard size of a bed is 90 centimetres wide and 200cm long but can be extended to 2.20m for taller athletes.

Similarly, the Argentinian basketball players Francisco Caffaro and Tayavek Gallizzi did not have any problems at all. But Diego Chiriff, coach of the Uruguayan swimming team, tried one. He was not so lucky and ended up breaking it. Although the beds are designed to prevent sudden movements that could lead to intimate relations, the organisers will be implementing a responsible health policy. 300,000 condoms will be made available to athletes, delegation members and coaches.

This measure has been in place since the Seoul Olympics in 1988. It is designed to protect against the spreading of the AIDS virus and to protect people's health in general. It's worth noting that for Tokyo 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to restrictions on socialising.