AP PHOTOS: No avoiding pandemic reminders at Tokyo Games

Rich Lam, left, gymnastics photo manager, holds up a sign that signals athletes to put their masks on while standing on the medal podium after the men's artistic gymnastic team competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
A pedestrian walks past a face mask discarded on the street during the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo.
A spectator wears a mask bearing the flag of Japan while watching the men's cycling road race at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Oyama, Japan.
Judges evaluate Asia D'Amato, of Italy, performing her floor exercise during the women's artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo.
Liam Heath, of Britain, kisses his bronze medal in the men's kayak single 200-meter final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Mikiko Andoh, of Japan, celebrates on the podium after winning the bronze medal in the women's 59kg weightlifting event, at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. She won a gold medal and set a new Olympic record.
A face masks is attached to the arrows of Britain's Bryony Pitman during the women's individual eliminations at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
A member of the grounds crew rakes the sand before a men's beach volleyball match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
A steward uses a plastic glove and a cloth to disinfect a volleyball ball during a rehearsal for the start of the volleyball preliminaries at Ariake Arena during the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
A man, wearing a protective face mask, sits inside an empty Ariake Arena, just before the start of a women's volleyball preliminary round pool A match between Japan and South Korea, at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
An official wears a mask and gloves as he prepares the cables for the gates on the competition course at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Workers clean seats between softball games at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan.
A staff member cleans the table during table tennis mixed doubles round of 16 matches at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo.
United States' Adrienne Lyle, Steffen Peters, and Sabine Schut-Kery, replace their face masks after photographs as they celebrate their silver medal in the Equestrian Dressage team final at Equestrian Park at Equestrian Park during the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
A sign designating a closed seating area is taped to a seat during the women's trampoline gymnastics qualifier at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
A cleaning crew worker wipes down the ring before the men's heavyweight 91kg boxing match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Volunteers keep social distance as they watch surfing at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, at Tsurigasaki beach in Ichinomiya, Japan.
A worker disinfects the seats before judo matches at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
An olympic volunteer wears a mask as he stands at a media bus stop during the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Fujisawa, Japan.
A volunteer holds a sign warning people to keep their distance and wash their hands during the first round of the tennis competion at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Workers clean the handball court at the Yoyogi National Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
A woker cleans the table on the podium for the media conference during a rehearsal before the start for Taekwondo at Makuhari Hall Messe, for the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
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TOKYO (AP) — Like any other Olympics, the Tokyo Games created its share of indelible moments — runners lunging across the finish line, swimmers reaching for the wall, athletes standing on podiums with medals around their necks.

The most lasting images from the 2020 Games — held in 2021, of course — will be those that underline the once unimagineable circumstances surrounding them.

Reminders are everywhere that these will forever be remembered as the Pandemic Olymipcs.

A last-minute rule change allowed athletes to remove their masks for a podium photo-op with their medals, but the face coverings had to be quickly restored. Thus the awkwardness as American dressage riders Adrienne Lyle, Steffen Peters and Sabine Schut-Kery fiddled to get their masks back in place.

Masks, of course, are everywhere. Gymnastics judges eyed competitors carefully over top of them. British archer Bryony Pitman attached one to the arrows in her quiver. Volunteers at every Olympic venue have offered friendly assistance without being able to show guests their smile.

Disinfection has become an around-the-clock effort. Officials in gloves sanitize the volleyballs, wipe down the table tennis surface and spray down the corners of the boxing rings.

Signs of the strangeness remain even after the action stops in the form of discarded masks left on walkways and streets.

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More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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