— Published 5 August 2021

The offbeat news of the day: the mayor should not have bitten into the medal

Takashi Kawamura

Japan has already harvested a historic number of medals, but they all remain sacred. The mayor of the city of Nagoya, in the centre of the country, found this out the hard way. Takashi Kawamura did the unforgivable on Wednesday, August 4th, when he bit into the gold medal of one of his people, Miu Goto, Olympic champion with the Japanese softball team. The scene took place during a ceremony organised by the Nagoya City Hall in honour of the young athlete. After asking to touch the medal, the mayor took off his mask and bit into it. The image was posted on social networks and triggered an avalanche of criticism and hostility, particularly from the Toyota group, which owns the softball team where Miu Goto plays. “It was an outrageous act and a lack of respect for the long-term efforts made by the player,” the carmaker wrote in a statement. Takashi Kawamura apologised for his actions. “I saw this gold medal that I had admired so much. And I acted impulsively,” the mayor explained to the media. “I dishonored the symbol of years and years of hard work. I apologise from the bottom of my heart.”