Protection is considered paramount for the hosts at any Olympics, but Tokyo 2020 organisers are going to new lengths in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
As part of their Summer Games goodie bag, it’s been tradition for Olympians and officials to receive free condoms upon arrival since 1988, aiming to prevent the transfer of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
The often free-spirited athletes’ village has a long-standing reputation for being liberal, with many using their time at the Games to improve ‘international relations’.
But Kyodo News reported the current COVID-19 situation means attendees won’t receive their customary condoms until the end of the Summer Games.
The athletes’ villagelocate in Tokyo’s Harumi waterfront districtis expected to host around 18,000 athletes and officials during the 2020 Olympics, which get underway on Friday (July 23).
Anyone staying in the village must provide a list of potential contacts they could see for contact tracing, with disqualification the most extreme punishment for being caught flouting this rule.
Japan declared a new state of emergency following a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases earlier in July, which is due to last until August 22, two weeks after the Olympics are due to be completed (Aug. 8).
It was originally reported in June that athletes would receive condoms as normal for this year’s Games, but they were urged to continue socially distancing all the while.
Having seemingly seen a flaw in that logic, organisers will instead save the latex freebies until after the Games are over, presumably as a memento of their time in Tokyo.
It’s not specified whether athletes will be prevented from bringing their own contraception into the athletes’ village, although fraternising with others remains strictly forbidden.
The report mentioned Olympians will be permitted to bring alcohol onto the site, although it must be consumed in their rooms with their specified room-mates.
In another attempt to deter athletes from intermingling this summer, the athletes’ village has been stocked with eco-friendly beds that organisers have said can hold two people at most.
However, Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan recently debunked those claims after posting a video on Twitter of him jumping up and down on his bed with no repercussions:
The pommel horse medal hopeful presented his findings and said: “On today’s episode of fake news at the Olympic Games, the beds are meant to be anti-sex.
“They’re made of cardboard, yes. But apparently they’re meant to break at any sudden movements.” He concluded the video by shouting: “It’s fake. Fake news!”
The Tokyo 2020 Games committee initially planned to have up to 10,000 spectators at venues this summer, but events will now take place with almost no supporters in attendance.
Sky News reported organisers plan to use virtual fan noise and video calls with athletes’ families at certain sites as a means of replicating the usual Olympic experience.
The athletes’ village will feel a lot different this summerin more ways than oneand organisers have taken a break from tradition to discourage any dorm-hopping whatsoever.