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Team USA athletes reveal what it’s REALLY like inside the Olympic village

Olympic athletes living in Tokyo’s Olympic Village have given sports fans a candid look at life inside their home away from home, offering peeks inside their bedrooms, a rundown of the cuisine, and glimpses of how the pros have fun in their downtime. 

More than 16,000 competitors from 206 countries will compete in the delayed 2020 Olympics, which officially kicks off today — and with social media more ever-present than in any Games before, athletes have been able to give the most comprehensive look inside any Olympic Village yet.

On TikTok and Instagram, Team USA sports stars like gymnast Simone Biles, rugby player Ilona Maher, and volleyball player Erik Shoji have lifted the curtain on life for Olympians in Tokyo, from the ‘not the most comfortable’ cardboard beds to the ‘bomb’ food served in two massive dining halls.

Team USA’s athletes have offered a peek inside the Olympic Village, with many spotlighting the cardboard beds in particular 

Rugby player Ilona Maher, 24, shared several TikTok videos with her teammates in which they tested out several activities on the beds

The activities included pretending to throw a tantrum and exercising

Rugby player Ilona Maher, 24, shared several TikTok videos with her teammates in which they tested out several activities on the beds 

One by one, they climb on the bed to do CPR, yoga, clap push-ups marching, wrestling moves, and various other things

One by one, they climb on the bed to do CPR, yoga, clap push-ups marching, wrestling moves, and various other things

There was quite a bit of hubbub around the cardboard beds in athletes' rooms, which were rumored to be delicate enough to collapse at any sudden movement

There was quite a bit of hubbub around the cardboard beds in athletes’ rooms, which were rumored to be delicate enough to collapse at any sudden movement

The real story behind those anti-sex beds 

There was quite a bit of hubbub around the cardboard beds in athletes’ rooms, which were rumored to be delicate enough to collapse at any sudden movement — and were thought to be an anti-sex measure to stop the spread of COVID-19.

But athletes have been quick to prove the theory wrong, showing just how strong and solid the cardboard beds really are. 

Rugby player Ilona Maher, 24, has shared three TikTok videos about the beds, including two in which she and her teammates test them out with ‘various activities’ that might break them.

One by one, they climb on the bed to do CPR, yoga, clap push-ups marching, wrestling moves, and various other exercises. One throws a faux tantrum, while another pretends to faint dramatically — all while the other teammates laugh behind the camera. And with each move, the bed doesn’t break.

Maher also said that she is 'very excited' that they get to keep the blankets when they leave

Maher also said that she is ‘very excited’ that they get to keep the blankets when they leave

'Yes, it is all cardboard, and it's pretty sturdy as you all have seen in the videos. It holds up,' she said

She also described the 'pretty firm' mattress, admitting that she didn't sleep 'that well' because it was 'not the most comfortable'

‘Yes, it is all cardboard, and it’s pretty sturdy as you all have seen in the videos. It holds up,’ she said. She also described the ‘pretty firm’ mattress, admitting that she didn’t sleep ‘that well’ because it was ‘not the most comfortable’

Volleyball player Kelsey Robinson, who is rooming with a teammate, showed that her room has two beds and a balcony

Volleyball player Kelsey Robinson, who is rooming with a teammate, showed that her room has two beds and a balcony

Maher also offered more of a close-up look at the beds, which are topped with blue and white comforters. She added that she is ‘very excited’ that they get to keep when they leave.

At the top, she showed how the cardboard headboard offers space for water bottles and photo chargers, and also panned across the storage underneath

‘Yes, it is all cardboard, and it’s pretty sturdy as you all have seen in the videos. It holds up,’ she said .

She also described the ‘pretty firm’ mattress, admitting that she didn’t sleep ‘that well’ because it was ‘not the most comfortable.’

Countless athletes have shared photos of themselves around the Olympic village, including the gymnasts

Countless athletes have shared photos of themselves around the Olympic village, including the gymnasts

They've showed off the building where they are staying as well as the grounds

Skateboarder Nyjah Huston shared a video of his teammate Jake Ilardi

They’ve showed off the building where they are staying as well as the grounds

Table tennis player Kanak Jha showed off the architecture

Table tennis player Kanak Jha showed off the architecture

How an Olympian lives at the Games

Countless athletes have shared photos of themselves around the Olympic village, showing tall accommodations, Olympic signage, and outdoor areas where they can spend time with a lower risk of COVID-19 exposure.

Gymnast Jordan Chiles filmed her surroundings when she arrived, revealing an outdoor courtyard with tables where groups of athletes were hanging out.

She also spotlighted the decor, including countless Olympic rings and stuffed animals of Miraitowa and Someity, the Toyko Olympic mascots 

Photos and videos taken inside the accommodations show carpeted hallways with comfortable-looking blue chairs and small wooden tables where athletes can sit, talk, and eat with friends. 

While COVID precautions are taken seriously, teammates are able to enjoy meals together, like the US softball team did here on an Olympic Village balcony

While COVID precautions are taken seriously, teammates are able to enjoy meals together, like the US softball team did here on an Olympic Village balcony

Gymnasts Simone Biles and Jordan Chiles showed off what looks like a courtyard

Gymnasts Simone Biles and Jordan Chiles showed off what looks like a courtyard

Videos show the building where the athletes are staying

Plus versions of the Tokyo Olympics mascots can be seen in the lobby

Videos show the building where the athletes are staying, with plus versions of the Tokyo Olympics mascots in the lobby

The hallways outside the athlete's rooms have chairs and tables, and empty food boxes show they take some meals there

The hallways outside the athlete’s rooms have chairs and tables, and empty food boxes show they take some meals there

Jordan Chiles shared a peek insider her bathroom as she brushed her teeth and moisturized

Jordan Chiles shared a peek insider her bathroom as she brushed her teeth and moisturized

Jordan Chiles shared a peek insider her bathroom as she brushed her teeth and moisturized 

Volleyball player Kelsey Robinson, who is rooming with a teammate, showed that her room has a balcony, nightstands, and enough room to walk around and unpack between the two beds.

There actually seem to be two different sets of accommodations for athletes, with some set up in what looks like an upscale hotel.

It’s unclear if this is also in the Olympic village and why some people are in the larger, more plush rooms.

The difference may be due in part to quarantines, though even the athletes in the larger rooms have left them. 

Basketball players Napheesa Collier (pictured) and Breanna Stewart showed off larger rooms with queen beds

Basketball players Napheesa Collier (pictured) and Breanna Stewart showed off larger rooms with queen beds

Megan Rapinoe also has a more plush room, though it's unclear why some athletes are in the hotel-like accommodations

Megan Rapinoe also has a more plush room, though it’s unclear why some athletes are in the hotel-like accommodations 

Some watched the opening ceremony from an event room with a large screen

Some watched the opening ceremony from an event room with a large screen

Some watched the opening ceremony from an event room with a large screen

Basketball player Breanna Stewart showed off her room on Instagram, modeling her outfit ahead of the opening ceremony. 

Behind her, a queen bed and a minibar with lots of bottles of water could be seen.

Her teammate Napheesa Collier had a similar room in the same building, as did soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe.

While some of the athletes here headed out for the opening ceremony, others stayed in and watched the proceedings on a projector screen in an event room, cheering on Team USA.

Jordan Chiles offered a close-up look at one of her breakfasts, which was made up of a croissant, a sandwich, fruit orange juice, and water

Jordan Chiles offered a close-up look at one of her breakfasts, which was made up of a croissant, a sandwich, fruit orange juice, and water

Simone Biles said her favorite food so far has been the hamburger steak

Simone Biles said her favorite food so far has been the hamburger steak

Volleyballer Erik Shoji rated the dining experience in videos on TIkTok, including the main dining hall and the 'casual' dining hall (pictured), which serves only Japanese good

Volleyballer Erik Shoji rated the dining experience in videos on TIkTok, including the main dining hall and the ‘casual’ dining hall (pictured), which serves only Japanese good

The Olympic Village offers around 700 different menu items

The Olympic Village offers around 700 different menu items

Shoji brought a bunch back to his table in the main dining hall, trying them one by one and sharing his reaction

He showed each to the camera before tasting it

Shoji brought a bunch back to his table in the main dining hall, trying them one by one and sharing his reaction

He described then approvingly as 'so good' and 'bomb' and made a lot of faces of enjoyment

He described then approvingly as ‘so good’ and ‘bomb’ and made a lot of faces of enjoyment

Feasts fit for gold medalists 

Japan Today reports that up to 18,000 people can be in the Olympic Village at one time, which means serving roughly 48,000 meals a day. Athletes are also hardly known for skimping at meal time.

About 700 menu options are on offer, with Western, Japanese, and Asian cuisines available. 

Some of the athletes have shown food delivered to their rooms or taken to go in orange cardboard boxes, which they can eat out on their balconies or at tables in the hallways.

Jordan Chiles offered a close-up look at one of her breakfasts, which was made up of a croissant, a sandwich, fruit orange juice, and water.

Softball player Monica Abbott shared a photo with her teammates eating on the balcony. 

Meanwhile, Simone said her favorite food so far is the hamburger steak she had for dinner, which ‘slaps.’

In a busy main dining hall, Shoji taste-tested tuna sushi, shrimp sushi, dim sum, gyoza, and Japanese curry

In a busy main dining hall, Shoji taste-tested tuna sushi, shrimp sushi, dim sum, gyoza, and Japanese curry

He also ate salmon salad, teriyaki beef with a rice ball, grilled pork, corn, and a savory Japanese pancake

He also ate salmon salad, teriyaki beef with a rice ball, grilled pork, corn, and a savory Japanese pancake

He also ate  salmon salad, teriyaki beef with a rice ball, grilled pork, corn, and a savory Japanese pancake

'This food is so good,' he said emphatically.

‘This food is so good,’ he said emphatically.

Over on TikTok, volleyball player Erik Shoji shared videos from the two separate dining halls inside the Olympic Village: the main dining hall and the ‘casual’ dining hall, with the latter serving only Japanese good.

He documented his reaction as he tried several dishes at each — which he described approvingly as ‘so good’ and ‘bomb.’

In the casual dining hall, he sat side-by-side with a teammate at a table with plexiglass dividers and ate salmon salad, teriyaki beef with a rice ball, grilled pork, corn, and a savory Japanese pancake, and fruit for dessert. After each bite, he made it clear how much he was enjoying it.

In a much busier main dining hall a couple days later, he taste-tested tuna sushi, shrimp sushi, dim sum, gyoza, and Japanese curry.

‘This food is so good,’ he said emphatically. 

While the athletes' schedules are jam-packed with training and competitions, they do appear to have a bit of time to have fun

While the athletes’ schedules are jam-packed with training and competitions, they do appear to have a bit of time to have fun

On TikTok, Jordan Chiles shared a compilation of all of the Team USA gymnasts dancing (pictured: Simone BIles)

On TikTok, Jordan Chiles shared a compilation of all of the Team USA gymnasts dancing (pictured: Simone BIles)

Her teammates came together in the hallway for a fun TikTok dance challenge

They were in socks, slides, and bare feet

Her teammates came together in the hallway for a fun TikTok dance challenge in socks, slides, and bare feet

Team USA's male gymnasts joined in the Smeeze dance challenge too

Team USA’s male gymnasts joined in the Smeeze dance challenge too

Basketball player Stefanie Dolson uploaded a clip of a group playing a friendly game of cornhole on turf outside at night

Basketball player Stefanie Dolson uploaded a clip of a group playing a friendly game of cornhole on turf outside at night

The cornhole equipment had an American flag and blue beanbags

The cornhole equipment had an American flag and blue beanbags

Gymnast Sunisa Lee shared a photo of what looks like a window covered in signatures of athletes representing the US, Italy, Montenegro, South Africa, and Hong Kong

Gymnast Sunisa Lee shared a photo of what looks like a window covered in signatures of athletes representing the US, Italy, Montenegro, South Africa, and Hong Kong

World-class athletes just wanna have fun

While the athletes’ schedules are jam-packed with training and competitions, they do appear to have a bit of time to have fun, especially ahead of their individual events.

Several have shared videos of themselves goofing off.

On TikTok, Jordan Chiles shared a compilation of all of the Team USA gymnasts, male and female, coming together for a dance challenge in the hallway.

The group laughed and seemed to be having a great time blowing off steam while doing the Smeeze dance challenge. 

And basketball player Stefanie Dolson uploaded a clip of a group playing a friendly game of cornhole on turf outside at night.  

Meanwhile, several players from around the world are leaving their mark on the Olympic Village. Gymnast Sunisa Lee shared a photo of what looks like a window covered in signatures of athletes representing the US, Italy, Montenegro, South Africa, and Hong Kong. 

After getting tested twice before departure, athletes were tested once again at the airpot upon landing — and continue to get tested every day

After getting tested twice before departure, athletes were tested once again at the airpot upon landing — and continue to get tested every day 

US Softball's Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott have also shared shots with their teammates, with everyone wearing masks

US Softball’s Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott have also shared shots with their teammates, with everyone wearing masks

An app tracks movements and will tell anyone if they have been exposed to someone who tested positive

An app tracks movements and will tell anyone if they have been exposed to someone who tested positive 

Signs in the athletes' rooms show other rules and recommendations, including coughing and sneezing into the crook of one's arm

Signs in the athletes’ rooms show other rules and recommendations, including coughing and sneezing into the crook of one’s arm

Staying safe and healthy 

The Today show’s Savannah Guthrie recently revealed the COVID-19 protocols that athletes and media must adhere to.

After getting tested twice before departure, athletes were tested once again at the airpot upon landing — and continue to get tested every day. 

They must also submit their health status on an app, and another app tracks movements and will tell anyone if they have been exposed to someone who tested positive.

Signs in the athletes’ rooms show other rules and recommendations, including coughing and sneezing into the crook of one’s arm, throwing away used tissues immediately, and using hand sanitizer.

What’s more, the athletes all carry around security badges on lanyards to prove they are supposed to be there.  

Volleyball player Shoji also gave his TikTok followers a comprehensive tour of the Team USA High Performance Center, which he said the athletes use when they can't train at their venue

Volleyball player Shoji also gave his TikTok followers a comprehensive tour of the Team USA High Performance Center, which he said the athletes use when they can’t train at their venue

It includes a lounge area with tables and chairs in sets of two, with a snack bar where they can snacks and drinks — including what looks like frozen drinks

It includes a lounge area with tables and chairs in sets of two, with a snack bar where they can snacks and drinks — including what looks like frozen drinks

It includes a lounge area with tables and chairs in sets of two, with a snack bar where they can snacks and drinks — including what looks like frozen drinks

He had his dinner there, feasting on salad, protein, and grains

He had his dinner there, feasting on salad, protein, and grains

He also showed off something called college corner, and more lounge space with comfy chairs and televisions

He also showed off something called college corner, and more lounge space with comfy chairs and televisions

There's a sports medical center where the athletes can get help with their ailments. The room has, among other things, massage tables and ice baths

There’s a sports medical center where the athletes can get help with their ailments. The room has, among other things, massage tables and ice baths

Of course, there is also an enormous weight room with various exercise equipment

Of course, there is also an enormous weight room with various exercise equipment

Of course, there is also an enormous weight room with various exercise equipment

All-inclusive training facilities

Volleyball player Shoji also gave his TikTok followers a comprehensive tour of the Team USA High Performance Center, which he said the athletes use when they can’t train at their venue.

It includes a lounge area with tables and chairs in sets of two, with a snack bar where they can snacks and drinks — including what looks like frozen drinks.

He also showed off something called college corner, and more lounge space with comfy chairs and televisions. 

There’s a sports medical center where the athletes can get help with their ailments. The room has, among other things, massage tables and ice baths.

‘And we have a spa area with cold tubs and hot tubs and saunas — but I can’t take you in there,’ he said.

Of course, there is also an enormous weight room with various exercise equipment, as well as a separate fencing area.

‘We’re pretty lucky to have this setup,’ he said. ‘Such a sick weight room in like an old basketball gym.’

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