When a medal winner at the Olympic Games bites his plaque, we have become accustomed to these images. But when a mayor does it, the horror is great.
Nagoya – We’re familiar with the photos of Olympic medal winners biting into their plaques as if to verify that it’s actually gold, silver or bronze and not a chocolate thaler from the savings bank with just a soft candy inside a shiny shell. This is still out of the question at the Olympics, because the Games still earn a lot of money, which is why the athletes’ feigned mistrust is in some ways an affront to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Those images must have flashed through Takashi Kawamura’s mind like a blinding flash when softball player Miu Goto hung her gold medal around the neck of the mayor of Nagoya at the reception in the city hall. Like Count Dracula, who bites people because it’s in his nature, the 72-year-old honoree clenched the medal between his teeth in obedience to insatiable greed, which not only Miu Goto registered with sheer horror, but shocked pretty much all of Japan. Takashi Kawamura did not damage the plaque, the gold piece could have been cleaned, but the Olympian insisted on a new one, which she was assured of by the IOC. Toyota, whose softball team employs Miu Goto, also complained to the biting mayor – although the car giant should know: Nothing is impossible, including some behavior.