Medals for the 2020 Olympics Will Be Made Sustainabily

Medals for the 2020 Olympics Will Be Made Sustainabily

Medals for the 2020 Olympics Will Be Made Sustainabily

The Olympic Organizing Committee collected over 6 million mobile phones and over 73 tons of recyclable material to create the accolades.

The Olympic Organizing Committee collected over 6 million mobile phones and over 73 tons of recyclable material to create the accolades.

Text: Julian Wright

Little did you know, but the Olympics is basically about fashion. Athletes from around the world compete against each other for a chance to win one of the most coveted accessories of all time: the Olympic medal. This coming event, though, the medals are a little extra special. Recycled personal devices are the source material for every single one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games' 5,000 medals.

Once the Organizing Committee selected the concept, it took two years to collect 78,985 tons of discarded devices. 6.21 million used mobile phones were donated, along with digital cameras, game consoles, and laptops. That’s a whole lot of metal. Despite the large source, the team only extracted 67 pounds of gold, 9,000 pounds of silver and 4,850 pounds of bronze.

Aside from their material, the medals have all the classic Olympic iconography: the five rings, Nike, the stadium and the official name of the games. Though thoughtful with his design, designer Junichi Kawanishi is just aiming to honor the sportsman, saying, “With their shining rings, I hope the medals will be seen as paying tribute to the athletes’ efforts, reflecting their glory and symbolizing friendship.”

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