18 Heartwarming Photos Of Olympians Embracing New COVID Protocols


It’s a moment every athlete at the Olympic Games has dreamed about: standing on the podium and bowing their head to receive a well-earned medal around their neck.

However, things looked a little different in Tokyo this year. Due to COVID-19 protocols, Olympic officials have been presenting medals on a tray for the athletes to don themselves. Ahead of the Games, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach told reporters the policy would mean “that the athlete can be sure that nobody touched them before.”

But in a sweet show of sportsmanship, athletes at the Tokyo Games — especially in events with more than one person on a team — have been placing medals on one another, making for some touching, photo-worthy moments. In an Olympics where COVID-19 has forced so much to change, this is one new tradition we wouldn’t mind seeing again.

South Korea fencers receive their gold medals on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men's sabre team on July 28.



South Korea fencers receive their gold medals on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men’s sabre team on July 28.

Gold medalists Zongyuan Wang and Siyi Xie of Team China during the medal ceremony for the men's synchronized 3 meter springbo



Gold medalists Zongyuan Wang and Siyi Xie of Team China during the medal ceremony for the men’s synchronized 3 meter springboard diving final on July 28.

Gold medalist Teddy Riner of France, right, receives a medal from teammate Romane Dicko. France won gold in the mixed team ju



Gold medalist Teddy Riner of France, right, receives a medal from teammate Romane Dicko. France won gold in the mixed team judo competition on July 31.

Softball player Yukiko Ueno of Japan (fourth from right) puts the gold medal on catcher Haruka Agatsuma (third from right) on



Softball player Yukiko Ueno of Japan (fourth from right) puts the gold medal on catcher Haruka Agatsuma (third from right) on the podium with other teammates, while medal presenter and Japan Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita (lower left) looks on at the Yokohama Baseball Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, on July 27.

The USA's Caeleb Dressel, second from right, helps teammate Zach Apple on the podium. Dressel, Apple, Ryan Murphy (far left)



The USA’s Caeleb Dressel, second from right, helps teammate Zach Apple on the podium. Dressel, Apple, Ryan Murphy (far left) and Michael Andrew (second from left) won gold in the men’s 4 x 100 meter medley relay on Aug. 1.

Silver medallist Marin Cilic of Croatia, left, gives Croatia's Ivan Dodig his silver medal on the podium during the men's dou



Silver medallist Marin Cilic of Croatia, left, gives Croatia’s Ivan Dodig his silver medal on the podium during the men’s doubles tennis ceremony at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo on July 30.

Members of Team Canada receive their bronze medals on the podium during the medal ceremony for softball on July 27 in Yokoham



Members of Team Canada receive their bronze medals on the podium during the medal ceremony for softball on July 27 in Yokohama.

Ireland's Fintan McCarthy places a gold medal on teammate Paul O'Donovan at the medal ceremony for men's lightweight double s



Ireland’s Fintan McCarthy places a gold medal on teammate Paul O’Donovan at the medal ceremony for men’s lightweight double sculls on July 28.

Katie McLaughlin of Team United States places a silver medal around the neck of her teammate Katie Ledecky during the ceremon



Katie McLaughlin of Team United States places a silver medal around the neck of her teammate Katie Ledecky during the ceremony for the women’s 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay on July 29. McLaughlin and Ledecky earned silver alongside teammates Allison Schmitt and Paige Madden.

Anna Hopkin presents Kathleen Dawson of Team Great Britain with her medal during the ceremony for the mixed 4 x 100 meter med



Anna Hopkin presents Kathleen Dawson of Team Great Britain with her medal during the ceremony for the mixed 4 x 100 meter medley relay on July 31.

Bronze medalists Kim Soyeong, left, and Kong Heeyong of Team South Korea place their medals on each other during the ceremony



Bronze medalists Kim Soyeong, left, and Kong Heeyong of Team South Korea place their medals on each other during the ceremony for the women’s doubles badminton event on Aug. 2.

Gold medalists Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, center, and Andrey Rublev, right, of the Russian Olympic Committee put on their resp



Gold medalists Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, center, and Andrey Rublev, right, of the Russian Olympic Committee put on their respective medals during the mixed doubles tennis medal ceremony on Aug. 1.

Silver medalists Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen of Team China are seen during the medal ceremony for the men's doubles badminton ev



Silver medalists Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen of Team China are seen during the medal ceremony for the men’s doubles badminton event on July 31.

Kaylee McKeown of Australia, left, receives her gold medal in women's 200 meter backstroke from Australia's Emily Seebohm, wh



Kaylee McKeown of Australia, left, receives her gold medal in women’s 200 meter backstroke from Australia’s Emily Seebohm, who won the bronze, on July 31.

German rower Hannes Ocik places a silver medal around the neck of cox Martin Sauer after the men's eight final on July 2



German rower Hannes Ocik places a silver medal around the neck of cox Martin Sauer after the men’s eight final on July 29.

Great Britain's Tom Daley receives a gold medal from teammate Matty Lee during the medal presentation for the men's synchroni



Great Britain’s Tom Daley receives a gold medal from teammate Matty Lee during the medal presentation for the men’s synchronized 10 meter platform event on July 26.



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