The medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were unveiled to get their first public viewing exactly one year before the event’s opening ceremony. As fans celebrated the day around Tokyo displaying clocks showing 365 days to go, the organizers marked the day with this unveiling. According to them, the design is ‘intended to symbolise diversity and represent a world where people who compete in sports and work hard are honoured’.
The medals will be created entirely from recycled electronic devices, primarily mobile phones. About 32kg of gold were extracted from 6.2 million used mobile phones donated over two years by the Japanese public. Almost 3.5 tonnes of silver and 2.2 tonnes of bronze were also recovered from the donated devices.
The medals, this year, have a pebble-like appearance with a diameter of 8.5 centimeters. The front face will feature the traditional design featuring an image of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. The medal-design was chosen from over 400 entries from students and professional designers. Junichi Kawanishi, who became the eventual winner, was ecstatic about his design being selected. In a press statement, Kawanishi said, “With their shining rings, I hope the medals will be seen as paying tribute to the athletes’ efforts, reflecting their glory and symbolizing friendship.”
The capital city of Japan is spending about 15 billion dollar well above their original estimate at under 7 billion dollar to get ready for the Games. Eight new venues are being constructed along with the redevelopment of older venues. A group of anti-Olympic activists is against this huge spending for the Olympics. While the organizers were unveiling the medal design, the activist group participated in a demonstration for banning Tokyo Olympics. They were of the opinion that the Olympics should be banned not only in Tokyo but everywhere because it contributes to poverty. The protest ors said in a press conference that the money spend unnecessarily for the Olympics could be better used elsewhere.