The athlete in question doesn’t seem eager to trade away her trophy that’s been in someone else’s mouth, however.

Mayor Takashi Kawamura of Nagoya City found himself embroiled in a toothy scandal earlier this month when for some reason he took it upon himself to take the gold medal earned by local Olympic softball athlete Miu Goto, place it in his mouth, and bite down with an audible chomp.

Biting a gold medal to check its veracity is something of a tradition at this point, and athletes are even encouraged to pose with their medals up to their mouths. But the keyword here is that the athlete who won the medal is encouraged to do so—not an unrelated official who governs their home city.

After the controversial bite took place, Koichi Hagiuda, a representative from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, disparaged Kawamura’s actions with a damning quote:

“Putting something so valuable of someone else’s into your mouth is an incredibly poor example to set.”

Following a flurry of outrage, the mayor has apologized, but it appears that mere apologies won’t settle this incident. The International Olympics Committee stated that they would take action to replace Goto’s gold medal with a shiny new one, untainted by remnants of her local mayor’s saliva. Initially it seemed as though the IOC would foot the bill for the replacement, but recent developments suggest that Kawamura himself will pay for a replacement if one is made.

Interestingly, sources close to Goto imply that she intends to turn down the replacement medal. According to these sources she values the original gold medal that she was awarded alongside her teammates’ at the official ceremony.

Commenters were quick to voice their opinions on the latest developments to this contentious story:

“Thank goodness that they aren’t just replacing it, but that they’re charging the culprit with the expenses too! You’d better not write it off as a business expense, I’m warning you!”
“It’s a bit of a shame for it to be a different medal, but I think it’s the right move. She’ll always have the memory of having the medal hung around her neck with the rest of her team. I really hope that when she gets her new medal, she can have all of her teammates hold it to make a new memory with it.”
“I don’t feel like outside forces should be just urging her to accept a replacement… Shouldn’t the final decision be made by the athlete? You should prioritize her feelings.”
“It is pretty sad that she won’t have the medal that she actually received during the ceremony.”

One thing is for sure in this situation: no one is going to forget Mayor Kawamura’s fumble for a long, long time. Goto’s medal may not be the only thing getting replaced if this incident lingers in the public consciousness, even if Kawamura were to do his next public apology in anime cosplay.

This article was published on August 13, but due to an internal error is dated August 1. SoraNews24 apologizes for any confusion.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News/Nippon TV 24 via My Game News Flash
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