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Tokyo Olympics 2020: 5 amazing facts about the Olympic and Paralympic medals 

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
Modified 09 Feb 2020, 17:39 IST

Tokyo 2020 Olympic medal
Tokyo 2020 Olympic medal

The leadup to the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020 to be held in Tokyo has already caused quite a buzz among sports fanatics with expectations resting on some of the best athletes across countries.

There have been numerous reports about a few initiatives set to be introduced at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 with the latest technology, some exciting new sporting disciplines, and a younger generation of athletes looking to make a mark in the absence of some retired stars such as Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps.

With athletes looking to put in their best foot forward and add to their side's Tokyo Olympics medal tally, here are a few impressive facts about the Tokyo Olympics 2020 medals.


 #1 The Tokyo Olympics 2020's project of turning old cell phones into medals

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) conducted the “Tokyo 2020 Medal Project” to produce the valuable medals. The initiative of the project was to collect small electronic devices such as used mobile phones from all over Japan.

In an innovative move, Japan has instituted such a program which for the first time in the history of Olympic and Paralympic Games, along with being sustainable it serves another valuable purpose where the Japanese citizens make the 2020 Olympics a legitimate community effort, donating and contributing to the games in a personal way. 


#2 Making it a community effort

A medal design competition was held in lieu of producing these medals. The goal was to invite the public to submit design ideas for the medals, and thus right from the attainment of the metals to the development of the medal design, the entire country of Japan was involved in the production of the medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, embodying the emotions of everyone who participated in the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project.


#3 Amount of metals extracted

According to the organizers, from 6.2 million used mobile phones, a total of about 32kg of gold was extracted and donated over two years. They also recovered 3.5 tonnes of silver and 2.2 tonnes of bronze. 5,000 medals approximately have now been produced from recycling small consumer electronics which will be scripted in history to an environmentally friendly and sustainable Olympic Games, and in hope to continue the trend in the upcoming editions of the competition.


#4 Design of the medals

The medals, which are designed to resemble polished stones and are "intended to symbolise diversity and represent a world where people who compete in sports and work hard are honoured". The front of the Olympic medal shows the traditional design featuring the goddess of victory, but since Munich 1972, the host nation have designed the reverse of the medal.

For the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, the design of the medal features a traditional Japanese fan motif, which depicts the Paralympic Games as the source of a fresh new wind refreshing the world as well as a shared experience connecting diverse hearts and minds.

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The pivot point, known as kaname in Japanese, holds all parts of the fan together representing the Para athletes bringing people together regardless of nationality or ethnicity. The vitality of people’s hearts symbolising Japan’s captivating and life-giving natural environment in the form of rocks, flowers, wood, leaves, and water have been depicted by the motifs on the leaves. The surface is created with slight differences in thickness and each natural element is portrayed with varied treatments, giving a unique feel to the touch. 


#5 Feeling the medals

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic medal will also feature “Tokyo 2020” in braille on the obverse side of the medal. A series of circular indentations are also carved on the side of the medals - one for gold, two for silver, three for bronze, making it easier to distinguish the medal types by touch, a provision that has been made available for the first time in Paralympic history for athletes with a vision impairment. The Paralympic medal has been designed by Hakuhodo Product’s Inc. in-house designer Sakiko Matsumoto.






Published 05 Feb 2020, 22:18 IST
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