Daily US Times: A gold medallist of the Tokyo Olympics will be given a new medal after the mayor of her hometown bitten on the first.
Mayor Takashi Kawamura of Japanese city Nagoya, sparked anger online when he lowered his mask and bit on softball athlete Miu Goto’s medal at an event.
He was accused of ignoring coronavirus restrictions and “lacking respect”.
Olympic officials now say they will swap Ms Goto’s gold medal for an untarnished one, after the mayor said he would pay for a replacement. The mayor also apologised for his act.
The mayor faced a backlash after putting the medal in his mouth at a ceremony last week to celebrate Japan’s victory over the US in the women’s softball final.
Social media users said the mayor’s act was unhygienic and impolite towards the athlete.
Japanese silver medallist fencer Yuki Ota wrote on Twitter: “Apart from showing a lack of respect for athletes, he bit it even though [athletes] are putting on medals themselves or on their team-mates during medal ceremonies as part of infection prevention measures. Sorry, I can’t understand it.”
“Germ medal” was soon trending on Japan’s social media.
Even Toyota, the owners of the team Ms Goto plays for, condemned the gesture, calling it “extremely regrettable” and “inappropriate”.
The 72-year-old mayor’s action reportedly prompted over 7,000 complaints to city authorities.
He said: “I forgot my position as Nagoya mayor and acted in an extremely inappropriate way,” adding that he would pay for the replacement of the medal.
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