Athletes at the Tokyo Olympics will put their medals around their own necks to offer protection to against spreading the coronavirus.
The “very remarkable change” to traditional medal ceremonies in the 339 events used to be revealed on Wednesday by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
“The medals might not be provided around the neck,” Bach told international media on a convention call from Tokyo.
“They are going to be presented to the athlete on a tray and then the athlete will take the medal him or herself.
Check Tokyo 2020 full schedule and opening ceremony time here
“It’s going to be made certain that the one that will put the medal on the tray will do so only with disinfected gloves, in order that the athlete can ensure that nobody touched them before.” The Olympic approach is different to soccer in Europe where UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has personally hung medals around the necks of players at competition finals in recent weeks.
Ceferin also shook hands with Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma at the Euro 2020 medal and trophy presentation in London on Sunday. His save in a penalty shootout clinched the title for Italy against England.
Bach confirmed Wednesday that in Tokyo “there will be no handshakes and there will be no hugs throughout the ceremony.” Olympic medals are normally presented by an IOC member or a leading official in a sport’s governing body.
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The IOC had in the past said medalists and ceremony officials must wear masks.
With no paying spectators allowed to attend most Olympic events, what Bach described as an “immersive sound system” will try to create atmosphere for the athletes in the stadiums and venues.
Crowd noise recorded fromeach event at preceding Olympics will be fed into the arena as one of several ways to beef up the athletes, he said.
Some athletes will be connected after their event via screens to their families, friends and fan clubs at home, while fans will be capable of send video clips of up to six seconds that may be displayed next to the field of play.
The Tokyo Olympics open July 23 in a state of emergency and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the city.
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