TOPLINE: Millions of people all around the world are tuning into hours of Olympics events this week, but many athletes competing in Tokyo have taken to the app TikTok to show followers what it’s like at the Olympic Village during the Games, often going viral in the process.
The first Olympic meme to go viral in Tokyo showed athletes jumping on beds in the Olympic Village in TikTok videos after rumors swirled that the bedframes were made of cardboard to prevent Olympians from having sex and breaking pandemic protocol—as Argentian basketball players Fran Caffaro and Tayavek Gallizzi proved in one viral video, the beds are sturdier than they appear.
Another Olympian to go viral on the platform was 18-year-old American diver Tyler Downs, who posted a relatable video about wanting to meet star gymnast Simone Biles, another member of Team USA, during the Games.
American rugby player Ilona Maher has posted a variety of behind-the-scenes videos of the Games to her TikTok account—in one, she describes scouting the Olympic Village for a “tall foreign demigod” athlete to marry, and in another she shows off the Ralph Lauren and Nike gear Team USA athletes were gifted.
American fencer Courtney Hurley posted a video showing the room she shares at the Olympic Village with sister and fellow Team USA fencer Kelley Hurley, pointing out how the their sides of the room differ in neatness.
American swimmer Regan Smith and several teammates used a spare moment during practice at a Tokyo pool to jokingly recreate a video that went viral last year of a baby being tossed into a pool during an infant swimming lesson.
Australian water polo player Tilly Kearns responded to a video from Australian rugby player Kennedy Cherrington about athlete hairstyles, poking fun at the tight swim caps water sport competitors wear.
Olympian TikTok videos give viewers an inside look at the Olympic Village during an unprecedented Games. With host city Tokyo reporting an increase in new cases, athletes undergo regular testing and follow strict protocol to prevent new infections. According to organizers, 137 people had tested positive in relation to the Olympics on Sunday. Most recently, top golfers Jon Rahm from Spain and Bryson DeChambeau from the U.S were pulled from the Games after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
By Carlie Porterfield, Forbes Staff