Olympic Village

The Beds at the Beijing Olympic Village Are Guaranteed to Make Tokyo Athletes Jealous

Ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, luge star Summer Britcher is giving everyone the down low about the Olympic Village in Beijing, including the high tech beds they're sleeping in at the games

Summer Britcher of Team United States poses for a portrait during the Team USA Beijing 2022 Olympic shoot on September 12, 2021 in Irvine, California.
om Pennington/Getty Images for Team USA

There's no hard truth to uncover here.

Ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, luge athlete Summer Britcher wants the world to know that the beds in the Olympic Village in Beijing are out of this world.

After landing in Beijing, she was asked if the Olympic Village's beds were made of cardboard like they notoriously had been at the Tokyo Olympics over the summer. And her answer is going to delight fans--and probably annoy some 2020 athletes.

"I am so excited you asked this question, because I have something incredible to share," Britcher said in a TikTok video. "Because not only do we not have cardboard beds here, but it's as if the Beijing organizing committee said, 'How can we just absolutely just one up Tokyo?'"

The athlete shared a close up of the bed's personal remote control, which showed that it could be raised and lowered into multiple positions for maximum comfort. Not bad, right?

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In a follow-up clip, Britcher was seen happily tucked in as she said, "I'm in Zero-G mode now. It's phenomenal."

There was certainly one athlete from last year's games who was envious of Britcher and her high tech bed: U.S. rugby player Ilona Maher, who shared her hilarious reaction on TikTok.

"Your... Your bed has a whole remote to it? It has modes?" Maher said, getting progressively more emotional as she spoke. "How big is it? It looks pretty big."

"Our beds in Tokyo were like, only like that big," she said, making a small gesture with her thumb and forefinger. "And they were highly flammable. And very solid. They were very solid beds. My back hurt like, a week after I started laying on them."

Fighting back fake tears, Maher added, "But have fun! That looks awesome. That looks so cool."

Back at the 2020 Summer Olympics, there was frequent discussion surrounding the so-called "cardboard beds" at the Village, which began after U.S. runner Paul Chelimo tweeted an image of the lightweight bedframes and said that they could only "withstand the weight of a single person" as part of a plan to avoid "intimacy among athletes."

That thought process was later debunked by Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan, who put the self-described "anti-sex" beds to the test by posting a video of himself gleefully jumping up and down on one.

"Apparently they're meant to break at any sudden movements," McClenaghan said. When the bed did not break, he declared, "It's fake! Fake news!"

With a name like hers, you wouldn't expect Summer Britcher to be a three-time Winter Olympian, but after competing in her first games at 19, she is now a seasoned veteran who knows that in luge, experience can put a spring in your step.
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