Ben Wagner, an outfielder for the Israel Olympic baseball team, apologized for any offense caused after he posted a video on his TikTok account of him and his teammates testing the cardboard beds in the Olympic Village and seeing how many athletes it would take to break them.
It turns out that the magic number is nine. The video stemmed from earlier false claims at the Olympics that organizers had assembled cardboard beds as a means of preventing any “intimacy between athletes.”
But the truth is, these beds were part of the original Tokyo 2020 plan for the Games, and the beds would be recycled after the Olympics.
Wagner and his colleagues decided to test the theory that they could support up to 441 pounds. In a video he posted on his TikTok account, Wagner said: “We will see how many Israelis it takes to break one of the cardboard beds.”
“נראה כמה ישראלים צריך כדי לשבור את אחת ממיטות הקרטון” סרטון טיקטוק שהעלה שחקן נבחרת הבייסבול של ישראל לטוקיו 2020, בן ווגנר, מראה את שחקני הנבחרת “בוחנים” את עמידות המיטות בכפר האולימפי, כשהם קופצים על אחת המיטות בחדר עד שהיא נשברת@lianwildau pic.twitter.com/ATfDU70lww
– כאן חדשות (@kann_news) July 27, 2021
They increased the number of athletes jumping on the bed from one progressively to nine. When the ninth athlete joined the bed test exercise, he collapsed.
The video went viral, but it also drew criticism from some who felt it was disrespectful to the Tokyo 2020 hosts.
The Israel Olympic Committee did not see the video and said it took the act “very seriously”, while the Israel Baseball Association said the matter was serious and the players apologized.
Wagner later posted a video apologizing. “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. I would really like to apologize to anyone who was offended by this video. I just wanted to show how effective and sturdy the beds are in the Olympic Village.
“We had an extra bed available for us, and we were told that it would be recycled after the Games anyway. The bed in the video has since been upcycled. In fact, we enjoy sleeping in these beds and believe that they are an excellent and sustainable option for future Olympics. We apologize again to everyone who was offended by this video.
“Japan has done an exceptional job hosting athletes here at the Olympic Village. We are very grateful for your hospitality; my teammates have had a great experience here in Japan.