An inside look at the apartments, stores, dining hall, transport, and laundry room shared by the Olympic athletes.

Behind every gold medal at the Olympics is a years-long story of dedication and determination, and British diver Tom Daley is no exception. The 27-year-old has represented Great Britain at a total of four Olympic Games, making his debut as a 14-year-old at Beijing’s 2008 Olympics, before going on to win bronze in the individual 10-metre platform at the London Olympics in 2012 and bronze again in the synchronised platform at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio.

Now at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Daley’s career hit a new high when he took home gold with teammate Matty Lee in the men’s synchronised 10-metre platform final on day three of the Games.

▼ The pair became gold medal winners on 26 July.

As people back in the U.K. celebrated the diving win, Daley’s popularity grew worldwide, and it didn’t take long for people to discover he’s also a well-known vlogger who’s been uploading videos to his YouTube channel for the past ten years.

With close to a million subscribers as of this writing, one of Daley’s most popular videos, simply called “Olympic Village Tour!“, was also one of his most recent, racking up 2.4 million views from viewers keen to find out what it’s like to stay at the Olympic Village in Tokyo.

Daley does an excellent job of taking the viewer through the village and introducing them to a day in the life of an athlete at the Tokyo Olympic Games, even including all the coronavirus-related restrictions and rules they have to follow.

Take a look at the video below:

Daley starts the video inside the four-bedroom apartment he’s staying in, showing us the room he shares with Lee overlooking Tokyo Bay, before debunking the myth that the cardboard beds the athletes have been given are “anti-sex” beds, instead confirming that they’re designed to be eco-friendly.

▼ The cardboard beds can easily withstand Daley and Lee’s jumping on them.

The rooms also contain cardboard wardrobes and Tokyo-Olympics-branded duvets that the athletes can take home with them. There’s also a Sony PlayStation in the apartment, which fellow diver Noah Williams can be seen playing in the other room.

Each athlete has a pass that they have to wear at all times, which includes a special Coca-Cola tag that allows them to purchase drinks from the vending machines, and Daley tells us that mask-wearing is compulsory when walking around the village.

That’s when he takes us out into the village itself, showing us the large scale of the Team GB building, which sits next to the Team USA building, and pointing out the self-driving electric buses that run around the complex.

Over in the huge two-storey dining hall, there are a plethora of food options available, ranging from noodles through to pizza, pasta and Halal, and diners sit with plastic dividers separating them.

The food hall is open 24 hours a day, and outside there are automatic water stations set up around the village so you can fill your water bottles up with Tokyo water. Over in the “International Zone”, there’s a “mini village environment” which consists of a lantern-lined street of stores, including a general shop, a hair salon, a gift store selling official Olympics merchandise, ATMs, a phone repair store, and even a post office, so none of the athletes have to leave the compound.

Back in the apartment, Daley shows us his souvenir purchases: a shirt with an image of Olympic mascot Miraitowa on it and a Someity Paralympics mascot plushie for his son Robbie, and a set of postage stamps that depict him as a geisha and Lee as a samurai warrior.

Then it’s down to some more serious stuff, with Daley showing us the daily spit test each athlete must submit as part of the Games’ coronavirus countermeasures. Only athletes who test positive are informed of their results, and everyone has a contact tracing app on their phones so if they sit near someone in the dining hall who tests positive they get a notification and then have to isolate.

As the video wraps up, Daley shows us the laundry area, which is located in the underground basement that connects all the buildings, and points out the bus stops and buses that take athletes to their competition venues. The main street is lined with flags from every country participating in the Games, and each team displays their flag outside their apartments so you can get a clear idea of where each team is located.

Daley’s fascinating insider tour of the Olympics Village has won praise from people around the world, who have been pleasantly surprised by the pandemic protocols in place and the massive effort by everyone involved to create a safe environment for the athletes.

▼ And following his gold medal win, Daley charmed the world by knitting a special pouch to keep his medal in.

Here’s hoping the safe environment continues throughout the Games, so that visiting athletes and journalists covering the event can continue to enjoy the joys of Japan through rice balls, sweet sandwiches, and convenience stores!

Source, images: YouTube/Tom Daley
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