Ben Wagner, an outfielder on Team Israel's Olympic baseball team, has apologized for any offense caused after he posted a video on his TikTok account of him and his teammates testing out the cardboard beds in the Olympic Village and seeing how many athletes it would take to break them.
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It turns out, the magic number is nine. The video came off the back of false claims earlier in the Olympic Games that the organizers had put together cardboard beds as a means to prevent any "intimacy among athletes."
But the truth is, these beds were part of Tokyo 2020's original plan for the Games, with the beds to be recycled after the Olympics.
Wagner and his baseball teammates decided to test out the theory that they could hold up to 441 pounds. In a video he posted to his TikTok account, Wagner said: "We'll see how many Israelis it takes to break one of the cardboard beds." They increased the number of athletes jumping on the bed from one progressively through to nine. When the ninth athlete joined in the bed-testing exercise, it collapsed.
"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
ועכשיו מגיעה ההתנצלות של בן ווגנר, השחקן שהעלה את הסרטון שעורר סערה. נקווה שגם ההתנצלות והחרטה יזכו לתהודה רחבה. https://t.co/MkuwMZQM1X pic.twitter.com/B4O3pPwT3S— Lian Wildau (@lianwildau) July 29, 2021
The video went viral but also led to criticism from some who felt it was a show of disrespect to the Tokyo 2020 hosts. The Israeli Olympic Committee took a dim view of the video, saying it took the act "very seriously," while the Israeli Baseball Association said the matter was serious, and the players apologized.
Wagner then 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'd like to really apologize to anyone offended to this video. We meant no disrespect and we just wanted to show off how effective and sturdy the beds are in the Olympic Village.
"We had an extra bed available to us, and we were told they'd be recycled after the Games anyway. The bed in the video has since been recycled. We actually enjoy sleeping on these beds and think they're a great, sustainable option for future Olympics. We apologize again to anyone offended by this video. Japan has done an exceptional job hosting the athletes here in the Olympic Village. We're extremely appreciative of their hospitality -- my teammates have had nothing short of a great experience here in Japan."