The mayor of Nagoya, Japan has been criticized for arbitrarily biting the Olympic medals of local athletes.
On the 5th, Japan's NHK reported on the 'medal bite' happening at the meeting between Mayor Takashi Kawamura and Nagoya national softball representative Miu Goto on the 4th.
According to the video released by NHK, Mayor Kawamura said, "It's really heavy!" when he hung the gold medal that Goto won at the Olympics around his neck, then suddenly lowered his mask and bit the medal.
In the blink of an eye, Goto, who was standing next to him, burst into a rather awkward laugh, and Kawamura fiddled with the medal for a moment before handed it back to Goto as it was.
Kyodo News reported that Kawamura's actions were unexpected without prior consent, and after that, voices criticizing Kawamura's rudeness poured out on social media.
Dozens of protest calls and e-mails poured in from Nagoya City Hall, such as "Isn't it a serious disrespect to the player?" and "It was a violation of the prevention of COVID-19 infection."
As the controversy grew, NHK reported that Kawamura said, "(Bite the medal) was the greatest expression of affection and admiration."
However, criticism continues among medalists in other sports as well.
2020 Tokyo Olympics Men's 60kg Judo Gold Medalist Naotoshi Takafuji posted on his SNS, "(Athletes) take care of their medals so that they don't get damaged." wrote.
Yuki Ota, a silver medalist in fencing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, also criticized it as "not only lack of courtesy towards the athletes, but even more incomprehensible in the Corona 19 situation."
Mizuki Fujii, a silver medalist in women's doubles badminton at the 2012 Olympics in London, said that she had had a similar experience and said, "I almost cried."
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