“Anti-sex” beds are out, and panda pillows are in at this next round of the Olympics in Beijing.
Team USA snowboarder Maddie Mastro shared a series of videos to TikTok giving viewers a sneak peek into the athletes’ dorms for the 2022 Olympics.
The remote-controlled adjustable bed alone appeared to many viewers as a step up from the controversial cardboard beds provided for athletes during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Rumors circulated on social media that the cardboard beds were constructed with flimsy material to prevent athletes from cozying up with one other in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These claims were debunked, as the beds were made to be eco-friendly, recyclable options, many of which have since been repurposed for COVID-19 patients.
“It’s not cardboard – it’s super nice, actually,” Mastro shared in her room tour. She also noted that, in terms of storage options, they had been provided a lot more closet space than the rooms during the last Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
TikTok users couldn’t help but compare the newer accommodations to the cardboard beds.
“Do you have any summer Olympian friends you’re teasing,” one user joked in the comments.
But the highlight of the room, or the “main character” as Mastro puts it, is the Chinese Olympic mascot – a giant panda named Bing Dwen Dwen – adorning one of the pillows. Users in the comments gushed over how adorable the mascot is in its suit made of ice.
The panda-emblazoned pillow was made even better as Mastro demonstrated in another post how it transforms into a blanket. The video garnered 4.5 million views in a single day, with viewers wanting to know how they can obtain one for themselves, perhaps without needing to qualify for the Olympics.
Bing Dwen Dwen, whose name roughly translates to the words “ice” and “children,” is the latest in the decades-long Olympics tradition of developing mascots that represent the host country.
Bing symbolizes both the strength and willpower of the Olympic athletes, according to the Olympics website. Its ice suit was designed to resemble an astronaut suit, in the spirit of “embracing new technologies for a future with infinite possibilities.”
Bing is accompanied by Shuey Rhon Rhon, an anthropomorphic Chinese lantern mascot who will represent the Paralympics.