Olympic organizers say they'll hand out 150,000 free condoms but want athletes to stay 6 feet away from one another - and the internet is having a field day over the contradiction
- Olympic organizers say athletes should stay 2 meters apart and avoid hugs and high fives this year.
- At the same time, per AFP, the usual free condoms are expected for athletes.
- People are mocking the decision, saying it sends mixed messages during the pandemic.
The athletes set to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games - which were postponed to this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic - are getting some mixed messages.On one hand, the International Olympic Committee is telling athletes to "avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact" like hugs, high fives, and handshakes and to keep 2 meters, or 6 feet, apart from other athletes during the games to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, according to a 33-page playbook released this week.
But many are mocking the decision."Are these supposed to be worn the normal way or pulled over the head for protection against coronavirus?" one commenter wrote on Japan Today's website, as noted by the South China Morning Post.
"Sex at 2 meters could be an Olympic event in itself," another commenter wrote on Facebook."Length has never been more important," wrote another while sharing an article about the news.
—Carlos (@qarloscuiapo) February 10, 2021Athletes won't be required to be vaccinated or to quarantine upon arrival in Tokyo, but they are required to test negative for the coronavirus before getting on a flight to Japan, according to the playbook. Some athletes may be tested again upon arrival, depending on where they're traveling from.
The playbook also notes that participants may be screened and tested for COVID-19 throughout the Tokyo Games, which are scheduled to begin on July 23.
The Olympics' organizing committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.
An Olympic traditionIt's a long-standing tradition to hand out free condoms to athletes at the Olympics.
The first Olympic condoms were given out at the Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, in 1988 in an attempt to prevent the spread of HIV, Time reported.
In Beijing in 2008, organizers supplied about 100,000 condoms. And at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, a record 450,000 condoms were distributed - enough for each participating athlete to have 42 condoms.Japanese condom makers have been preparing for the 2020 Olympics for at least three years, looking forward to the chance to show off their ultrathin condoms, Reuters reported.
Will the games go on?
Even aside from the postponement, the Tokyo Olympics have been marked by controversy and uncertainty.Last week, Yoshiro Mori, the president of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, drew global outrage when he said women had an "annoying" tendency to make meetings run too long. Mori, a former prime minister of Japan, apologized for his comments but initially refused to step down as president of the committee amid growing calls for his resignation. A source told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that Mori planned to resign and could make the announcement Friday.
There has also been speculation that the Olympics might be postponed again or canceled outright as the virus continues to surge around the globe. Earlier this week, Japan extended its coronavirus state of emergency and reported a single-day high in new coronavirus deaths. Foreigners are still barred from entering the country.But the International Olympic Committee denied recent reports that Japanese officials had already privately concluded the Olympics would be canceled, and Japan's prime minister has said the games will proceed."I am determined to realize a safe and secure Tokyo Games as proof that mankind will have overcome the virus," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said last month.
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