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

Gold medalists Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Radis of Romania celebrate on the podium following the women's double sculls final at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday.
Gold medalists Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Radis of Romania celebrate on the podium following the women's double sculls final at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday.

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

South Korean fencers receive gold medals for men's team sabre fencing at the Makuhari Messe Hall in Chiba City, Japan, on Wednesday.
Mohd Rasfan / AFP via Getty Images
South Korean fencers receive gold medals for men's team sabre fencing at the Makuhari Messe Hall in Chiba City, Japan, on Wednesday.

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.

Japan's softball team watches player Yukiko Ueno (fourth from right) place a gold medal on catcher Haruka Agatsuma (third from right) on Tuesday. Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita (lower left) holds the tray during the medal ceremony at the Yokohama Baseball Stadium in Yokohama, Japan.
Kazuhiro Fujihara / AFP via Getty Images
Japan's softball team watches player Yukiko Ueno (fourth from right) place a gold medal on catcher Haruka Agatsuma (third from right) on Tuesday. Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita (lower left) holds the tray during the medal ceremony at the Yokohama Baseball Stadium in Yokohama, Japan.

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.

China's Yang Qian (left) and Yang Haoran put gold medals on each other during the 10 meter air rifle mixed team medal ceremony at the Asaka Shooting Range in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Tauseef Mustafa / AFP via Getty Images
China's Yang Qian (left) and Yang Haoran put gold medals on each other during the 10 meter air rifle mixed team medal ceremony at the Asaka Shooting Range in Tokyo on Tuesday.


This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.

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