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Tokyo 2020: Athletes will put on their own medals

As we edge closer and closer to the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony, more rules and restrictions are being put on the games. 

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Thomas Bach announced yesterday that there would be new regulations around the medal ceremonies.

It had already been announced weeks ago that athletes would have to wear masks on the podiums. Now, they will also have to place their medals around their own necks.

President Bach announced this measure as another way to limit the spread of Covid19 in Tokyo.

At past Olympic Games, medals were normally presented by an IOC member or a representative of the given sport.

At a press conference in Tokyo, the president said:

“The medals will not be given around the neck. They will be presented to the athlete on a tray and then the athlete will take the medal him or herself.”

This is one of the first restrictions to be put on athletes while in the stadium or taking part in an event.

It was already announced that the limited crowd, that all live in Japan, will be told not to shout or look for autographs. Some events will have no spectators at all or only VIP members that include sponsors and sports representatives.

“There will be no shake hands and there will be no hugs there during the ceremony,” added president Bach.

How will this affect the Irish athletes in Tokyo?

Although these restrictions will make an odd spectacle of the Olympics, Team Ireland psychologist Jessie Barr believes that many of these restrictions will not affect the athletes.

“Most athletes are used to competing in pretty quiet stadiums until they get to major championships anyway so it won’t be that big of a step.

“From a mindset point of view, it is a big area of preparation. I don’t think it will have the negative impact on everyone that we think it might,” Barr said in an interview last month.

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