The medals plaza is based on a traditional yurt ©Getty Images

Beijing 2022 have confirmed that members of the public attending the victory ceremonies here in Beijing and at Zhangjiakou have been subject to the same COVID-19 precautions as spectators at the sports events.

Unlike the Summer Olympics, where the medals are presented immediately after the event, the majority of medals here are presented at a medal plaza in Beijing or Zhangjiakou at the end of each day of competition.

The exception is at Yanqing where presentations for the sliding are presented on site.

"We did not want to ask the athletes there to come all the way back to Beijing to receive their medals because we have a duty of care to them," said Beijing 2022 culture and ceremonies deputy director Gao Tian.

Ceremonies at the two venues alternate, so it is possible to watch the medal presentations from Beijing in Zhangjiakou and vice versa.

The crowd included locals and students at the medal plaza ©ITG
The crowd included locals and students at the medal plaza ©ITG

The stage of the plaza is designed to resemble a yurt, a traditional tent used by nomadic groups in central Asia.

Medal presentations are preceded by live entertainment on stage and the spectators are encouraged to chant the Games motto "Together for a shared future."

During the event, the officials who present the medals have been asked to wear masks at all times.

As in Tokyo last year, medals will be handed to the athletes rather than draped over their necks. 

"The whole principle of the event is contactless," Gao said.

Medal plaza staff prompted the athletes to remove their masks before the Ceremony and replace them afterwards.

Its is 90 years since Olympic medals were first presented on a podium at the 1932 Lake Placid Winter Olympics.

The idea came after International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Count Henri Baillet Latour had witnessed presentations made in this way at the 1930 British Empire Games in Hamilton, Canada.

The medal plaza did not become a feature at the Winter Games until much later.

At the 1960 Games, medals were presented at the "Tower of Nations" in Squaw Valley. 

From Calgary 1988 onwards, it became a regular feature of the Winter Olympics.