2020 Olympic Games medals to be made from recycled electronic devices

Author: Rosalind K. Amoh
The 2020 Olympic Games medals made from recycled mobile devices
The 2020 Olympic Games medals made from recycled mobile devices

With one year to go for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, organisers have released the medals that will be given out to successful athletes, unveiling a crafted blend of artistic beauty , Japanese heritage and legacy of  electronic recycling.

In unveiling the medals, organisers have also indicated that it will be a national heritage as almost every Japanese would indirectly play a role in manufacturing the hundreds of medals to be awarded to the successful who mount the podium to be decorated.

“It will be one that almost every Japanese has helped to produce as it would be made from metals extracted from used electronic devices with over 78,000 tons of mobile and electronic devices devices donated by Japanese in response to a national call to donate gadgets that were no longer needed by users.

On July 24, the Local Organising Commmittee of what has been nicknamed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, revealed the gold, silver and bronze medals that will be presented to athletes, with a special media outdoor to highlight the  one year countdown.

Junichi Kawanishi's design was picked from over 400 entries submitted

The design of  Japanese Junichi Kawanishi, was by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee in a competition that had more than 400 submissions.

Kawanishi’s design comes across as coarse stones that have been polished and refined over time, in much the same way that athletes have to strive daily and refine their performances in order to attain victory and glory.

Revealing his inspiration for the design, the Japanese artiste expressed the  hopes that “the medals will be seen as a tribute to the efforts of the athletes, reflecting their glory and also symbolising friendship”.


206 Nations to compete

Though 206 countries are expected to participate in the July 24 to August 9 sports festival, so far, 101 nations, including Ghana have qualified to participate in the 339 events in 33 different sports, involving 50 disciplines.

Ghana has qualified for two events -- Joseph Amoah in the men's 100m and 200m sprint events and Nadia Eke in the women's triple jump.

More athletes are expected to qualify from the World Athletics Championship scheduled for Doha in September as well as the other sanctioned qualification series by the various international sports federations.

The cases to hold the medals are crafted from Japanese tradition


Recycling technology

The gold, silver and bronze elements of the Tokyo 2020 medals will be made from metals extracted from used electronic devices.

Per the International Olympic Committee (IOC) requirements, silver and bronze medals are made purely from their respective materials, however, gold medals use silver as a base.

Basing its theme on leaving a recycling legacy, organisers said an effort within the past two years have received favourable response as over 78,000 tons of metals have been extracted from mobile and other electronic gadgets donated by Japanese.

Collection boxes were deployed at public locations and citizens were required to drop their unwanted mobile phones at their convenience.

The final presentation of the medals will be attractively packaged

The ribbons to hold the medals for the 2020 Olympic Games are inspired by Japanese tradition

A ribbon inspired by Japanese art

Another detail that was revealed on Wednesday was the design of the ribbon from which the medals will hang.
The geometric drawings are inspired by the traditional Japanese design of ichimatsu moyo (harmonised checkered patterns) and kasane no irome (traditional techniques of kimonos).