Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Injustice

Pandemic Protocols In Tokyo Have Given Us An Adorable New Olympic Tradition

Photo caption:

Photo by Charly Triballeau AFP via Getty Images

Gold medalists Romania's Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Radis celebrate on the podium following the women's double sculls final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo on July 28, 2021.

Pandemic protocols have kept Olympic venues primarily fan-free, required extra precautions and testing for athletes and staff and prevented many loved ones from cheering their teams on in person.

But one COVID-19 concession may actually make for a beautiful new Olympic tradition.

Athletes on the podium are helping each other don their medals

In years past, dignitaries would place medals around each winner's neck on the podium.

This year, officials are presenting athletes with their medals on a tray, from which they can then theoretically put them on themselves. But with the flowers and the masks, it can be a lot to juggle.

So some Olympians are giving each other a hand, in what might just be the most pure example of teamwork at this year's Games.

This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.