The International Olympic Committee announced on Thursday that athletes, presenters, and volunteers will not pose for group photos and wear masks on the podium during the Tokyo Olympics medal ceremonies, as part of a series of health-safety measures in rising of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The guidelines announced in June made it clear that athletes and medal presenters would be obliged to wear masks. Additional podium modules will be put between gold and silver medalists and gold and bronze medalists, according to the revised criteria, to allow for social distancing. All of the presenters will be vaccinated and each event will have only one IOC member and one representative from the International Federation.
“A series of changes have been approved in order to respect the Tokyo 2020 health measures, with the aim of making the experience safe for everyone involved while also preserving the essence of this unique moment, when Olympians savour and celebrate the pinnacle of their sports career,” IOC said in a statement.
According to the IOC, the athletes, medal presenters and volunteers will be clearly and thoroughly briefed before the ceremonies on the guidelines they will need to follow.
To prevent the virus from spreading, IOC President Thomas Bach said on Wednesday that athletes in the Tokyo Olympics will have to put their medals around their necks by themselves.