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IOC relaxes mask rules for medalists

Health protocols agreed ahead of the Tokyo Games to control COVID-19 infections had required all medalists to keep masks on for the whole ceremony.

Olympic medalists are now able to remove their masks, briefly, while on the podium after the International Olympic Committee decided to relax its health rules.

Recognizing athletes want to smile and show emotion, the IOC is now allowing athletes to have 30 seconds of maskless time for photographs.

The IOC says this acknowledges “a unique moment in their sporting career.”

Health protocols agreed to ahead of the Tokyo Games to control COVID-19 infections had required all medalists to keep masks on for the whole ceremony.

The new maskless moments require athletes to stay on their own podium steps. Masks must be back on for group photos on the top step.