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Unveiling the underlying meaning of the Tokyo Olympics medals

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The Olympic Games has been known as the biggest sports competition on Earth, gathering the best athletes around the globe for unity, equality, and also for possession of those shiny medals.

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The medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were launched in 2019, a dedicated design work of Junichi Kawanishi. The design was made to look simple, yet the detailed curves on the medals have a three-dimensional aspect and reflect lights at every angle.


The medals are 85mm in diameter and approximately 12mm thick, equivalent to The London 2012 Summer Olympics and Olympic Games Rio 2016 medals.


Medal weight
The weight of each type of medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is different.
Gold medals weigh 556 grams, silver medals are 550 grams, and bronze medals are 450 grams.
The Japan Olympics committee has claimed that their gold and silver medals are the heaviest medals in the history of the Summer Olympics.


Made from e-waste
Japan also emphasises on using recycled metals from electronic waste, especially mobile phones, as the main component for medal production.
These e-wastes had been collected from April 2017 to March 2019.
Approximately 79,000 electronic items were delivered to local governments across the country, and more than 6.2 million mobile phones were sent to NTT Docomo, Japan’s biggest mobile phone network company.
Almost 5,000 medals were made out of this recycled waste.

Unveiling the underlying meaning of the Tokyo Olympics medals Unveiling the underlying meaning of the Tokyo Olympics medals Unveiling the underlying meaning of the Tokyo Olympics medals Meaning of the medal
“The reflection of light reaches various directions so, I hope that the reflected light from the medal would reach all directions when it is worn by an athlete. That is my intention,” said Kawanishi.
The rough stone-like texture of the medal that has been polished and shines with lights and sparkles represents the power of the athletes and the cheers of the public.
The distinctive circular design is to represent the globe and diversity, inspired by each athlete giving their best effort to become a representative of their country.
The medal design also indicates warm friendship of people around the world, uniting together for this Olympics Games.

Published : July 25, 2021

By : The Nation