If you’re a follower of most international sports, you’ve probably seen athletes biting gold items. Soccer stars chomp down on trophies, tennis champions chomp down on dishes, and Olympians chomp down on medals. It’s what they’re good at. While there are a multitude of reasons why they do it, a mayor biting another person’s Olympic gold medal is not one of them.
According to the Associated Press, a Japanese mayor was forced to apologize, and an Olympian’s gold medal was changed after a dispute emerged in the 2020 Summer Games host nation. According to the report, softball pitcher Miu Goto was in Nagoya for a ceremony commemorating Japan’s gold medal victory against the United States when the city’s mayor became, uh, hungry?
During the Aug. 4 visit, Nagoya mayor Takashi Kawamura lauded pitcher Miu Goto, but his gaze was fixed on her medal. He requested that she wear it around his neck. After that, Kawamura drew down his face mask and bit into it.
“I’m really sorry that I hurt the treasure of the gold medalist,” Kawamura told reporters Thursday.
The mayor claimed the medal was unharmed, but he offered to cover the cost of a replacement.
Rather than accepting his offer, Goto appears to have accepted a whole new medal from the International Olympic Committee. That’s a good thing since, well, icky. And, while the medal-biting craze may have gained traction for a variety of reasons — such as testing it out like gold coins, or simply because photographers like to yell at athletes to do it now because it makes for a good photo — don’t expect it to become a thing elected officials do again anytime soon.