An Olympic gold medallist might be given a brand new medal after the mayor of her hometown chomped on the primary.
Takashi Kawamura, mayor of Japanese metropolis Nagoya, sparked fury on-line when he lowered his masks and bit on softball athlete Miu Goto’s medal at an occasion.
He was accused of ignoring Covid-19 restrictions and “missing respect”.
Now, Olympic officers say they may swap Ms Goto’s medal for an untarnished one, after the mayor apologised and mentioned he would pay for a alternative.
The mayor confronted a backlash after placing the medal between his tooth at a ceremony final week to rejoice Japan’s victory over the USA within the girls’s softball remaining.
Social media customers mentioned the act was unhygienic and rude in direction of the athlete.
“Other than displaying an absence of respect for athletes, he bit it despite the fact that [athletes] are placing on medals themselves or on their team-mates throughout medal ceremonies as a part of an infection prevention measures. Sorry, I am unable to perceive it,” Japanese silver medallist fencer Yuki Ota wrote on Twitter.
“Germ medal” was quickly trending on social media in Japan.
Even Toyota, the house owners of the group Ms Goto performs for, condemned the gesture, calling it “inappropriate” and “extraordinarily regrettable”.
The 72-year-old mayor apologised later for his actions, which reportedly prompted over 7,000 complaints to metropolis authorities.
“I forgot my place as Nagoya mayor and acted in an especially inappropriate means,” he mentioned, including that he needed to pay for a alternative medal.
A press release from Tokyo 2020 organisers on Thursday mentioned the alternative had been agreed between the Worldwide Olympic Committee and Ms Goto. The IOC would cowl the prices, it mentioned.
Biting medals is a typical quirk on the Video games, however is often reserved for winners.
The Tokyo 2020 organisers appeared to make gentle of the incident in late July after they tweeted: “We simply need to formally affirm that the #Tokyo2020medals are usually not edible!”
Neither Mr Kawamura nor Ms Goto had any speedy remark.