TOPTokyo LifeNews & OpinionOlympic Athletes on TikTok Are Going Viral for Their Hilarious Behind-the-Scenes Antics

Olympic Athletes on TikTok Are Going Viral for Their Hilarious Behind-the-Scenes Antics

The Olympians are taking over TikTok with their shenanigans inside the Olympic Village, showing us just how well they maintain a healthy work-life balance

By Camilla Chandra

Olympic athletes: national representatives, global sports celebrities — and, just recently, self-launched viral TikTok stars. Turns out, when put together under one lodging, they radiate the same chaotic energy as a group of college sophomores stuck in a co-ed dorm (or a summer camp, as some might say) — and we love it. The Kiwis are breaking their beds. The rugby players are washing their own laundry. The Aussies are playing cricket and the divers are giving us their firsthand raw reactions to Japanese bidets — all completely normal. They’re not allowed to leave the Olympic Village, so now many of them have turned to TikTok to give us some unsolicited footage of their (cue, side glance) intensive training. Forget about competing for gold medals — these athletes are racing to see who can break their beds the fastest.

The cardboard beds are, indeed, sturdy enough to jump on

The Olympic Village has a reputation for being a hotbed for sexy time, so the talk of ‘anti-sex’ beds was quick to spread across social media. This myth has since been debunked; the cardboard materials are specifically used for sustainability as they can be recycled after the Games. This, however, hasn’t stopped the Olympians from testing out and reviewing their beds in the most questionable ways. Ben Wagner, one of the baseball players on the Israeli team, gathered his teammates to ask how many Olympic athletes it would take to break the bed. The answer was nine.

US rugby player Ilona Maher and her fellow teammates have been using their athletic prowess to test the beds, doing everything from graceful warrior yoga poses and burpees to Michael Phelps’ majestic swan dive.

@ilonamaherTesting out the cardboard beds at the Tokyo Olympics #beastbeautybrains #olympics #tokyoolympics #tokyo2020 #tokyo2021 #usarugby #rugger #teamusa♬ original sound – Ilona Maher

US volleyball libero Erik Shoji asked his teammate to test the cardboard theory by performing a TikTok dance on top.

@theliberoReply to @hesitantlocal beds are Taylor thief in the night approved #olympics #tokyo2020 #tokyo2021 @taylorsander3♬ original sound – Erik Shoji

“Tell me you’re in the Olympic Village without telling me you’re in the Olympic Village,” said one of the New Zealand rowers in their TikTok account. The video aged quite well, as the Kiwis were the first to finally break their beds, after a dragged out war between each country.

@samfrickerrBroken bed ! Will there be more ? Haha #meme #funny #cardboardbed♬ Spongebob – Dante9k

That was followed by the Aussies, who haven’t just been breaking Olympic records but furniture, too.

@samfrickerr##funny ##meme ##olympics ##tokyo ##japan ##olympicspirit♬ Spongebob – Dante9k

Meanwhile, there’s a new Olympic sport: finding your own laundry

US rugby player Cody Melphy switched to stealth mode and had to battle “trust issues” when he lost his laundry, leaving him with no choice but to do the unthinkable: washing his own clothes in a bathtub, drying them on the balcony and documenting it on TikTok.

@codymelphySome loads taking 5 days to return 🤷🏼‍♂️ smdh. #tokyo2020 #olympics #olympicvillage♬ Rick & Morty – Soulja Boy Tell ’em

New Zealand’s Olympic swimmer Lewis Clareburt also showed us the multiple stages of grief his friend Erika went through because of her laundry slip.

@lewis_clareburtWhat happens when you lose your laundry slip at the Olympics 😂 ##olympics ##tokyo ##tokyoolympics ##nz ##tokyo2020 ##nzteam @zacreid69 @erika.fairweather♬ original sound – Lewis Clareburt ⚡️

Funny reactions to using a bidet for the first time

Japanese toilets are full of pleasant functions that surprise many tourists and the athletes fall victim to these mind-bending smart bidets. The lid opens automatically and the seat is heated. There’s also a nozzle spray. Clareburt and his pals gave us their unfiltered bafflement to these high-tech toilets.

@lewis_clareburtDO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME 😂♬ original sound – Lewis Clareburt ⚡️

Aussies vs. Aussies in intense matches of cricket and ping pong

The national pressure to compete for a gold medal is nothing compared to knocking out your teammate over at a backyard cricket match or at waist-bending table tennis. 

@ausolympicteamOur 7s take backyard cricket very seriously here in the ##Tokyo2020 Village! 💚💛##TokyoTogether ##OlympicSpirit♬ original sound – House of Highlights

@daria_gavtennisOlympic Village behind the scenes 💚💛##olympicspirit ##olympics ##olympicgames ##teamaus♬ original sound – Dasha Gavrilova • Tennis

Just like us, they’re thirsting over other athletes

American diver Tyler Downs made a totally relatable statement in his now-viral video about wanting to meet American star gymnast Simone Biles.

@tylerdownssheyy girl we are teammates 🤣♬ original sound – TOP 2⭐️


In one of her TikTok videos, Maher, clad in her Ralph Lauren bucket hat and Nike gear announced that she was looking for a “tall foreign demigod” athlete in the Village. “It’s not that easy to go to a pack of six to seven Romanian volleyball players,” said the rugby player when asked why she’s not shooting her shot.

@ilonamaherI am available ##beastbeautybrains ##olympics ##tokyoolympics ##tokyo2021 ##japan ##olympicvillage ##athlete ##olympictiktok ##teamusa♬ original sound – Big Daws

Welcome to my crib, TikTok edition

Sure, everyone’s turning their gears to make up for the strict Covid-19 protocols. At one point, Australian diver Sam Fricker channeled his gymnastics talent by doing a handstand on the bed. One thing’s clear, everyone is giving us a full tour of the Olympic Village, MTV-style. British diver and gold medalist Tom Daley took us through his dorm, confirming that everyone “could fit in the shower at the same time.”

@tomdaleyTOUR OF THE OLYMPIC VILLAGE! ##olympics ##tokyo2020 ##tokyo ##olympicvillage♬ original sound – Tom Daley

Canadian athlete Sage Watson, who will be competing in the 400-meter hurdles, gave us a glimpse of her country’s apartment, which features a life-sized statue of the Canadian moose.

@sagewatson7Inside look at the Olympic village! ##teamcanada ##olympics ##tokyo2020♬ SUNNY DAY – Matteo Rossanese

Other Olympians prefer to tone down the craze by showing more subdued “day in my life” videos. Australian basketball player Tessa Lavey takes us on one-minute clips of her activities inside the complex. Meanwhile, other professionals, including Australian diver Melissa Wu and South African skateboarder Brandon Valjalo have become fully-fledged dining food connoisseurs.


For more Olympic content, check out our Tokyo 2020 daily updates and browse our Sports & Fitness section for interviews, deep dives and more.