IOC Announces Updated Provisions For Contactless Medal Presentations

The International Olympic Committee has announced new provisions for the victory ceremony at the Tokyo 2020 Games in order to stay in line with the ever-evolving state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. The IOC press release which can be accessed here stipulates a series of guidelines that will be followed while awarding medals to the podium finishers this summer:

Guidelines

  • Athletes, presenters, and volunteers will wear masks at all times.
  • Additional podium modules will be placed between gold and silver. medallists and gold and bronze medallists to allow for social distancing.
  • All the presenters will be vaccinated, and there will be only one IOC member and one International Federation representative at each event.

Further, they have explained exactly how each medal ceremony will occur at the Games in order to follow COVID-19 protocols:

Scenario

  • The presenters will be waiting for the athletes on the field of play, and will not be part of the procession with the athletes.
  • Trays with medals and gifts (a flower bouquet and a small Tokyo 2020 mascot) will be placed on a table or a stand.
  • The presenters will pick up the trays from the tables or stands and will carry the trays to the medallists.
  • Athletes will take the medals and gifts from the trays, and will have no contact with the presenters.
  • Athletes will stay on their own podium module during the entire duration of the ceremony.
  • There will be no group photo on the gold medal podium.

The updated framework is in response to the worsening state of the pandemic in Japan and specifically in Tokyo. The Tokyo metropolitan government reported a total of 1,308 cases of COVID-19 on July 15, 2021, which according to Kyodo News is the largest single-day case number the city has reported since January 21, 2021.

On July 14, 2021, the country of Japan reported 3,211 cases of the virus which was up from the 2,396 on July 13 and the 1,511 on July 12. As of July 14, 2021, Japan was at a 2,302 7-day average of COVID-19 cases which is the highest it has been since June 8, 2021, when it hit 2,320.

The updated medal ceremony protocols are the latest of a number of intensified COVID-19 regulations that the IOC has announced including the July 8 decision that the Games would occur without spectators.

IOC President Thomas Bach recently spoke about the decision to hold the Games without spectators expressed his support for the decision. He also explained that while it looked for a while that the Games may be canceled altogether that cancellation was “not really an option.” One likely reason for the fact that it was not an option for the IOC is the financial loss associated with canceling the Games. A May 2021 report from the Nomura Research Institute estimated that Japan would undergo a $16 billion loss if the Games were canceled.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremonies are set to take place on Friday, July 23, 2021, and competition, including the swimming portion, will begin the next day on July 24.

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Awsi Dooger
2 months ago

Not a surprise. Biathlon did this last season and it worked great. In fact, it allowed athletes to show off their personality while placing the medal around their neck and ascending to the podium. Tiril Eckhoff in particular had fun with it

Katie
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
2 months ago

Figure skating had members of the team disciplines present medals to each other. It was quite nice, actually.

David Ditby
2 months ago

Way over the top. Meanwhile, they will be 15 to a lane in the warmup/warmdown pool and be crowded together on the walls. Then they aren’t allowed to receive a medal from someone who is vaccinated? I’m all for safety protocols, but where is the logic in that?

Cate
Reply to  David Ditby
2 months ago

There’s a lot of logic in it. I don’t have enough room to explain it to you so please educated yourself about covid transmission. We’re lucky they just didn’t cancel it.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Cate
2 months ago

It’s OK to admit you don’t know 🙂

He said what?
2 months ago

You can pick up your medal on the way out. We are on the honor system. Take the medal you won, not the medal you want. Have a nice day. Medal Ceremony Committee

Swimpop
Reply to  He said what?
2 months ago

I was thinking they could put them in an envelope by country and the coach could pick them up at the end of the meet. No mailing of packets not picked up but the coach can get them in three years at the next meet.

You Don’t Say
Reply to  He said what?
2 months ago

As part of his punishment, Sun Yang presents the medal tray to the Aussie 800 free relay…bowing & with tape over his mouth.

Troll Longhorn
Reply to  He said what?
2 months ago

Sounds fair enough as long as you don’t make them show an ID

Woke Stasi
2 months ago

“Athletes will wear masks at all times.”

QUESTION: If you can smell a far+ through a mask, what does that say about its efficacy (the mask not the far+)?

DJTrockstoYMCA
Reply to  Woke Stasi
2 months ago

My mask works as a shield from Covid, odorous smells and overeating.

Oceanian
Reply to  Woke Stasi
2 months ago

I suggest you take up some other hobbies

Cate
Reply to  Woke Stasi
2 months ago

Change your diet and improve your covid education

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Cate
2 months ago

What covid school did you graduate from 🙂

In the spirit of education here’s a quiet extensive review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8084286/

Last edited 2 months ago by Irish Ringer
Sub13
Reply to  Woke Stasi
2 months ago

Farts are gas. Covid particles are liquids. Gases, including oxygen, will pass through a mask where small droplets of liquid will not.

Admin
2 months ago

I now that this is common wisdom, feeding off the crowds and all…but in the United States, we regularly see records being broken in time trial events, with no buzz, and no competitors.

You Don’t Say
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

“Exceptionalism”

Cate
2 months ago

Then that athlete needs to reevaluate some things. What none of us need is to be responsible for covid spread just because an athlete needs “an extra buzz”

Sub13
2 months ago

In ‘Head Above Water’ Bronte Campbell said “oh I tell people all the time that I love hearing them cheer for me but that’s a lie, I can’t hear sh*t until the race is over” haha. I think the rush would come more from the best in the world being right next to you than worrying about the crowd.

That jerk Mitch
2 months ago

What gives? The workers and athletes in these games are all tested. Japan is not. Maybe start with restricting the host country, not the athletes..