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Olympic athletes on TikTok
Via TikTok (@ilonamaher, @laviainielsen, and @codymelphy)

The best thing about the Olympics is the athletes on TikTok

Cardboard beds, self-driving cars, and daily COVID tests: competitors are giving us a behind-the-scenes look at Tokyo’s Olympic Village

Most people will never step foot inside an Olympic Village, instead only seeing the quadrennial Games via sporting activities at the dedicated Park. That is, until this year – thanks to a little app called TikTok, Olympic athletes are giving us regular folk a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on when they’re not competing.

Posting with the hashtags #OlympicTikTok, #Tokyo2020, and #TokyoOlympics, athletes from all over the world are sharing their experiences in Japan.

As expected, those cardboard beds play a big role. Australian water polo player Tilly Kearns posted a helpful video giving some context behind the beds, including some benefits which may actually sell them to you. Not only are they made of “really hard cardboard, so it’s not going to break”, they’re also environmentally friendly, and you can also customise the mattress and extend the bed if you’re tall. What’s not to love!

Ilona Maher, a Team USA rugby player and arguably the Olympics’ biggest TikTok star, revealed just how tough the beds are in her own video. In the clip, various members of the US Olympic team test the beds out by doing burpees, cheerleading moves, “The Michael Phelps”, and “wife dramatically crying after finding out her husband cheated on her with his secretary” – arguably the hardest thing for a bed to withstand.

Beds aside, athletes are also taking TikTok on tours around the rest of the Village. Team USA rugby player Cody Melphy shared a video of “things that just make sense in the Olympic Village”, including its accommodation, the 24/7 dining hall, a free Coke machine, and its self-driving cars.

Even British diving legend Tom Daley – who won his first ever gold this year – has got involved, taking TikTok on a tour of the Team GB apartments. And, in case you were wondering, yes the whole GB diving team can fit in one shower.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games (pun intended). A video shared by British sprinter Laviai Nielsen shows what it’s like to compete in the Olympics during a global pandemic – namely, doing daily COVID-19 tests. Soundtracked by Frank Ocean’s “Super Rich Kids”, Nielsen films her everyday nose swab. Glam!

See some of the best videos below.


Reply to @lifeofriley2 Beds in the Olympic village, YES they are made from cardboard 😋

♬ Dreams (2004 Remaster) - Fleetwood Mac

“How are you preparing for the Tokyo Olympics?” 🤧

♬ super rich kids - shaun

Village Life! Can someone think of a better name for these? @ausolympicteam @7olympics @olympics ##fyp ##tokyo2020 ##tokyo2021 ##olympics ##dailyvlog

♬ Stuck in the Middle - Tai Verdes