IOC Changes Mask Mandate for Medal Ceremony

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This is an important Olympic moment. After each event, after the Olympic champion plays the national anthem, the silver and bronze medalists are greeted at the top step of the medal stand. There, they pose for a photo with the winner.

And this year it was the last part that caused a problem and a midgame rules changed.

Concerned that medal-winning athletes are clearly violating strict coronavirus protocols by removing their masks and posing with other competitors after competitions, the International Olympic Committee announced on Sunday a change to its ceremonial procedures.

From Sunday, medalists are allowed to pose for photos briefly, unmasked and socially distancing from their competitors.

The IOC said the victory ceremony protocol was adapted “to allow all medalists to celebrate their achievements together, while maintaining an image of the athletes that captures their faces and emotions for the media at a unique moment in their sporting career.” ”

But they and photographers need to be quick about it. Under the new rules, the short window for photos will not exceed 30 seconds and “at no time during this limited time athletes should be invited to join each other on the gold medal platform. They should stay on their private platform, respecting the original distance.”

Only after a signal from an Olympic official will medalists be allowed to join the winner on the highest podium for a second series of appearances. The IOC said these should happen with masks.

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