The Tokyo Olympics will skip one of the most touching moments where medalists are awarded medals on the podium and shake their hands with other awardees to exchange encouragement and support.
Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee president, said upon his arrival in Japan that how medals are delivered during award ceremonies will change to prevent against the spread of COVID-19, reported the Associated Press on Wednesday.
Unlike the previous Olympic Games where medals are put around the neck of winners by IOC personnel or executives of international associations for related sports, awardees in the Tokyo Olympics are requested to grab a medal on their own. Mr. Bach explained that medals are put on the tray by assistants with a pair of sterilized gloves on and awardees will be the first one who grab their medals.
Any form of physical contact such as hugs and handshakes is prohibited during award ceremonies, said Mr. Bach. It is common that a gold medalist whose name is last called shakes hands or hugs the rest of medalists before climbing on the podium, which may not happen during the forthcoming Olympics in Tokyo. As anyone is supposed to wear a face mask during an award ceremony, medalists may have no chance to pose for photos of biting their medals.
Mr. Bach expected that athletes can perk up and show great performance after hearing recordings of chants from the previous Olympics playing in the arena. After their games complete, they are allowed to have an online video call with their family, friends and fans on the screen.
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