To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, athletes at the Tokyo Olympics will wrap their medals around themselves.
Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, announced Wednesday that there was a “very significant” change to traditional medal ceremonies for 339 events.
Bach stated that the medals would not be wrapped around the neck during a conference call in Tokyo. They will be given to the athlete on a tray, and the athlete will then take the medal.
Bach said that it would be ensured that the person who puts the medal on the tray uses disinfected gloves to make sure the athlete is safe.
The Olympic approach differs from soccer in Europe, where Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA president, has personally placed medals around the necks and shoulders of players at recent competition finals.
Ceferin also met Gianluigi, Italy’s top goalkeeper, at the Euro 2020 trophy and medal presentation in London on Sunday. Donnarumma’s heroic save in a penalty shootout secured the title for Italy against England.
Bach said Wednesday that there would be no handshakes and no hugs during the Tokyo ceremony.
Olympic medals are usually presented by IOC members or top officials in the sport’s governing bodies.
The IOC previously stated that ceremony officials and medalists would need to wear masks.
Tokyo Olympics will open July 23rd in a state emergency with rising COVID-19 rates in the city.