GLIMPSES: The faces of Olympic victory, now without masks

Sports

Hayden Wilde of New Zealand holds his bronze medal during a medal ceremony for the men’s individual triathlon at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

TOKYO (AP) — The faces of victory will be a bit more visible for the rest of the Tokyo Olympics.

On Sunday, the International Olympic Committee relaxed its health rules and said medalists can remove their masks on the podium for photos — for 30 seconds.

This, says the IOC, acknowledges “a unique moment in their sporting career.”

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

But it’s not all freedom and exposed mouths from here on out. Athletes have to stay on their own podium step. And group photos on the top step? Masks back on, please.

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