Tokyo : With just six days to go for the much-awaited Tokyo Olympics, the first case of coronavirus has been detected at the Games village.
According to NHK World, the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organising committee said the infected person is a foreign national who was staying at the Athletes' village. NHK World cited sources claiming that the person found to be COVID-19 positive is a non-athlete.
Meanwhile, a series of changes on Thursday were 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.
"Just like other aspects of the Olympic Games, the victory ceremonies for the awarding of Olympic medals will also be impacted by the COVID-19 countermeasures put in place to ensure safe and secure Games for all participants," stated an official IOC release.
These changes follow on from the third version of the playbooks, published in June 2021, which already specified that the victory ceremonies with medal presentations would take place at the competition venues, and that athletes and medal presenters would be required to wear masks.
The Tokyo 2020 playbooks and COVID-19 countermeasures provide the framework for safe and secure Olympic Games. Implementing the playbooks, the ceremonies will take place respecting the following guidelines and scenarios:
Athletes, presenters and volunteers will wear masks at all times. Additional podium modules will be placed between gold and silver medallists and gold and bronze medallists to allow for social distancing.
All the presenters will be vaccinated, and there will be only one IOC member and one International Federation representative at each event.
The presenters will be waiting for the athletes on the field of play, and will not be part of the procession with the athletes. Trays with medals and gifts (a flower bouquet and a small Tokyo 2020 mascot) will be placed on a table or a stand.
The presenters will pick up the trays from the tables or stands, and will carry the trays to the medallists. Athletes will take the medals and gifts from the trays, and will have no contact with the presenters.
Athletes will stay on their own podium module during the entire duration of the ceremony. There will be no group photo on the gold medal podium.
Athletes, medal presenters and volunteers will be clearly and thoroughly briefed before the ceremonies on the guidelines they will need to follow. (ANI)