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The Israeli Olympians who went viral breaking one of the village’s cardboard beds apologized after Tokyo 2020 officials condemned their behavior: Report

Summary List PlacementIsrael's Olympic baseball team apologized for a viral TikTok video in which they broke one of the famous cardboard beds in the Olympic Village.  The original video, uploaded by Team Israel's Ben Wanger to TikTok, showed Wanger and eight of his teammates testing the bed's capacity by jumping on it. "Been getting a lot of questions about the beds in the Olympic Village, so today we're gonna check and see how many Israelis it takes to break one of these cardboard beds," Wanger said at the beginning of the July 26 viral video, which was viewed at least 280,000...

left: a group of nine Israeli athletes standing on a bed; right: a broken cardboard bed with text that reads

Summary List Placement

Israel’s Olympic baseball team apologized for a viral TikTok video in which they broke one of the famous cardboard beds in the Olympic Village. 

The original video, uploaded by Team Israel’s Ben Wanger to TikTok, showed Wanger and eight of his teammates testing the bed’s capacity by jumping on it.

“Been getting a lot of questions about the beds in the Olympic Village, so today we’re gonna check and see how many Israelis it takes to break one of these cardboard beds,” Wanger said at the beginning of the July 26 viral video, which was viewed at least 280,000 times within its first 24 hours.

After adding players one by one, the bed eventually buckled under the force of nine Olympians jumping on its mattress. The video appears to have since been deleted from Wanger’s TikTok account. 

Wanger posted an apology video on his TikTok account on July 28.

“Many of you may have seen the video I posted of some of my teammates and I jumping on one of the cardboard beds in the Olympic village,” he said in the video. “I’d like to really apologize to anyone offended by this video. We meant no disrespect and just wanted to show off how effective and sturdy the beds are in the Olympic village.”

The Times of Israel and Israeli public broadcaster Kann News reported that the Israeli Olympic Committee said in a statement that it contacted the team’s manager after seeing the video. The committee reportedly said that it condemned the behavior.

Peter Kurz, the team’s general manager, told the committee that the players had “committed a childish prank” and that they “apologized and expressed remorse over the mischievous act,” according to The Times of Israel.

Wanger said in his TikTok that the team was told an extra available bed they had would be recycled after the Olympics concluded. The bed from the video has since been recycled, Wanger said. 

“We actually enjoy sleeping on these beds, and think they are a great and sustainable option for future Olympics,” Wanger said. “Japan has done an exceptional job hosting the athletes here in the Olympic village.”

Tokyo Olympics cardboard beds

Early on in the Olympics, rumors swirled about the cardboard beds being an “anti-sex” measure to prevent Olympians from engaging in close contact due to the pandemic. But those plans were put in place for the cardboard beds prior to the COVID-19 pandemic with the intent of recycling them into paper products after the games, the Associated Press reported in January 2020.

Cardboard bed content has become a staple of the Tokyo Games social media cycle, with multiple viral videos emerging from athletes posting from the village. Olympians from other countries including Ireland, Argentina, and the United States have put the beds to the test by jumping on them, punching them, and diving onto them.

To read more stories like this, check out Insider’s digital culture coverage here.

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