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Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Medals Made From Old Gadgets

Aug 5, 2019 by CharismaticMannequin

With just one year until the 2020 Olympic Games begin, there’s a lot to do. One of those things? Creating medals for the winners. How is Japan going about this? Recycling old gadgets. Yes, winners will be walking away with medals made from old phones and other gadgets we’ve thrown away over the years.

“The medals are all 85mm in diameter, measuring 7.7mm at their thinnest part and 12.1mm at their thickest. The gold medals use more than 6 grams of gold plating on pure silver, the silver medals are made from pure silver, and the bronze medals use a red brass alloy made up of 95-percent copper and 5-percent zinc. IOC regulations mandated that the design should include the iconic five rings symbol, the official name of the games, and the Greek goddess of victory Nike in front of the Panatheniac stadium.” (The Verge)

The Tokyo 2020 organising committee made it known that a total of almost 80,000 tons of old electronic equipment had been sourced from across the country, including over 6.21 million used mobile phones. The final medal design was created by Junichi Kawanishi, whose entry beat out more than 400 other professional designers and design students. 

Collecting materials for the medals took a little less than two years, and resulted in 32 KG of gold, 3,500 KG of silver, and 2,200 KG of bronze. That’s a lot of material. Japan are known for their focus on tidiness and care, and this use of recycled materials only reinforces that image. 

It’s a clear message in a time of extreme focus on sustainability, environmental care, and climate change. 

What do you think to the design? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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