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IOC Says It's Replacing Medal Munched by Mayor

Nagoya mayor apologizes for biting softball pitcher Miu Goto's medal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2021 7:27 AM CDT
IOC Says It Is Replacing Medal Munched by Mayor
Japan's Miu Goto pitches during the softball game between Japan and Australia at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Fukushima, Japan.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(Newser) – An Olympic athlete in Japan is getting a new gold medal to replace one that a mayor decided to chomp on during a ceremony last week. Tokyo 2020 organizers say they will give softball pitcher Miu Goto a new medal to replace the one Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamure bit into when she visited city hall and placed it around his neck, the BBC reports. Victorious Olympic athletes are often seen biting their medals, but it was seen as a breach of both normal etiquette and COVID regulations when the mayor bit Goto's gold. The medal-munching mayor apologized afterward and offered to pay for a replacement.

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"I forgot my position as Nagoya mayor and acted in an extremely inappropriate way," the 72-year-old said after city authorities received thousands of complaints. Toyota, which owns the local Red Terriers team Goto plays for, called the mayor's action "extremely regrettable." Kawamure was also criticized for telling the 20-year-old athlete she "should marry a nice guy" and asking, "Are you prohibited from romance?" reports the Asahi Shimbun. Officials say that to "avoid possible confusion," the mayor will not be attending an Aug. 15 Tokyo Paralympics torch event in the city. During the Olympics, organizers tweeted that the medals were made "from material recycled from electronic devices donated by the Japanese public" —and "are not edible!" (Read more 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games stories.)

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