The Tokyo Olympics Athletics Olympics village will have cardboard beds for environmental sustainability. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Tokyo Olympic athletes beware, particularly larger ones. The bed frames in the Athletes Village at this year's Olympics will be made of cardboard. Sturdy cardboard. "Those beds can stand up to 200 kilograms," explained Takashi Kitajima, the general manager of the Athletes Village, speaking through an interpreter. That's about 440 pounds, and surely no Olympic athlete weighs that much. "They are stronger than wooden beds," Kitajima added. He also took into account the possibility of a wild room celebration after, say, a gold-medal victory.
"Of course, wood and cardboard would each break if you jumped on them," he said. The single bed frames will be recycled into paper products after the games. The mattress componentsthe mattresses are not made of cardboard will be recycled into plastic products. The mattress is broken up into three distinct sections, and the firmness of each can be adjusted. The idea was to use materials that could be remade after the Olympics and Paralympics. But the cardboard frames and supports should give the rooms a spartan look.
Organizers showed off the beds and a few other furnishings on Thursday at their headquarters. The entire Athletes Village complex will be completed in June. The Olympics open on July 24 followed by the Paralympics on Aug. 25. "The organizing committee was thinking about recyclable items, and the bed was one of the ideas," Kitajima explained, crediting local Olympic sponsor Airweave Inc. for the execution. Organizers say this is the first time that the beds and bedding in the Athletes Village have been made of renewable materials.
The Athletes Village being built alongside Tokyo Bay will comprise 18,000 beds for the Olympics and be composed to 21 apartment towers. Even more building construction is being planned in the next several years. Real estate ads say the units will be sold off afterward, or rented, with sale prices starting from about 54 million yen or about USD 500,000 and soaring to three or four times that much. Some fear the apartments will flood the market, possibly impacting property values.
The units will be sold off by various real estate companies. Ads suggest many of the units will be slightly larger than a typical apartment in Tokyo, which is about 60-70 square meters or 650-750 square feet.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are expected to cost some 1.35 trillion yen (USD 12.6 billion), organisers said Friday, unveiling a final budget showing increased revenue balancing out extra costs including countermeasures against heat. However, officials admitted the budget does not yet include an estimated three billion yen for moving the marathon and race walk north to Sapporo, as they wrangle with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over who bears the cost.
Tokyo Olympics will cost 1.35 trillion yen while there is a 27-billion yen contingency plan. (Image credit: Getty Images)
Revenues from domestic sponsorship and robust ticket sales have increased income by 30 billion yen, according to the fourth and final version of the Olympic budget. This equals out a rise in forecast expenditure for items such as transport and security -- as well as the heat-busting measures. The overall 1.35-trillion-yen budget for the Games is unchanged since the last version of the budget unveiled last year.
There is also a 27-billion-yen "contingency" pot to deal with possible emergencies such as natural disasters. Organisers are still negotiating with the IOC over the cost of moving the marathon to the northern city of Sapporo due to the expected heat in the Tokyo summer. "This is an unprecedented matter so there are no procedures," explained Gakuji Ito, executive director for planning and finance at Tokyo 2020.