These Athletes Are Sharing an Inside Look at the Olympic Village on TikTok

Sara Belcher - Author

Jul. 27 2021, Published 6:25 p.m. ET

Athletes in the Olympic Village
Source: TikTok/@ilonamaher/@nerdyhooper/@kaitostreets

This year's Summer Olympic Games are very different than many from previous years. With the games having been postponed from 2020 to 2021 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the athletes are taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of the virus throughout the Olympic Village.

Unlike many of the previous years' games, the popularity of social media apps like TikTok means viewers are getting an inside look at life in the Olympic Village like we've never seen before.

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Competitors have been going viral online for sharing videos about the cardboard beds and dining halls, raking in millions of views per video. Even if you're not watching the Olympics, if you're on TikTok, you've probably seen a look inside the village.

As it turns out, the Olympic Village is so much more than just where the athletes sleep when they're not competing — there are actually a variety of things to do while staying there.

Olympic Village
Source: Instagram

Australian table tennis player Michelle Bromley in the Olympic Village.

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Athletes can get their hair and nails done at the salons in the Olympic Village.

A feature in the Olympic Village that many viewers were surprised to learn about are the salons. Athletes have the option to get their hair or nails done while on site before (or after) they compete. It seems the hairstylists are trained to care for all types of hair, to ensure the athletes from all countries can use the facilities.

The Olympics have a variety of rules about athletes' appearances during the games. For example, those on the men's boxing teams have to be clean-shaven when they compete, and those on the women's gymnastics teams can't wear colorful nail polish during their competitions.

These facilities are likely available so that athletes can maintain their appearances to comply with the official rules.

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There are self-driving buses to get around the village.

To get around the Olympic Village, the athletes take a series of self-driving buses that navigate regular routes throughout the area. These buses arrive every few minutes while traveling on a loop and are the competitors' primary mode of transportation to get around.

According to a TikTok from Great Britain's rowers Rebecca Edwards and Polly Swan from @rowtotokyo, the buses are solar powered and don't even have a steering wheel inside.

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The buses are of course monitored by someone who works in the village to ensure the athletes' safety, though none have issued any complaints with Tokyo's solution to sustainable and reliable local transportation.

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The Tokyo Olympic Village has a large emphasis on sustainability.

While the cardboard beds provided for the athletes have resulted in some mixed reviews, Olympic officials have maintained that their design is solely focused on being sustainable — and that's been a recurring theme throughout the village.

Even though athletes have to wear disposable masks and gloves throughout much of the village to keep each other safe from a potential COVID-19 transmission, many of the other amenities have been made as sustainable as possible.

The Olympic dining hall also has a complex (and somewhat complicated) trash system to reduce food waste and encourage recycling.

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