Olympics-do-it-yourself medal ceremony at Tokyo Games amid pandemic

By Reuters   July 16, 2021 | 06:39 pm PT
Olympics-do-it-yourself medal ceremony at Tokyo Games amid pandemic
A medal tray that will be used for the victory ceremonies of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games is displayed during the unveiling event at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan, June 3, 2021. Photo by Reuters/Issei Kato.
Olympic champions at the Tokyo Games starting next week can forget about having their medals hung around their necks.

Instead, the three medals will be presented on a tray to the athletes on the podium and they then have to hang them around their own neck in front of the empty stands. There will also be no handshakes or hugs.

"The medals will not given around the neck," International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach told a virtual media roundtable on Wednesday.

"They will be presented to the athlete on a tray and the athlete will take the medal him or herself."

"It will be made sure the person who will put the medal on the tray will do it with disinfected gloves. Presenters and athletes will wear a mask. There will be no handshakes and no hugs during the ceremony," he added.

The Olympics have lost much public support in Japan because of fears they will trigger a surge of infections even though no spectators will be allowed into sports venues and there are strict health measures in place for all Games participants.

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