The receipt of an Olympic medal is undoubtedly one of the highest honors an athlete can hope for, and is the climax of the breathtaking feats of endurance and competition.
Medals which get everyone involved.
The world’s eyes will be on the medals unveiled by Japan and so they are a great opportunity to showcase the best of Japan’s creativity, culture and values. Japan has not let this opportunity go to waste, but has eked out every angle to be exploited in demonstrating the best of Japan in its medal design. It has really been an effort of the entire country with a national competition having been run to find a suitably iconic design idea. The Tokyo 2021 Medal Project was leveraged to get the people of Japan engaged and involved and what a success it has been! One of the key initiatives has been the sourcing of metals for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic medals from reclaimed consumer electronics such as mobile phones from all over Japan! The gold silver and bronze, present in individual devices in minute amounts was adequate to create the 5000 medals needed for the Olympics and Para Olympic games – an amazing and intriguing accomplishment. These unique medals are definitely in keeping with Japan’s desire to host the most environmentally friendly and sustainable Olympic Games in history.
Sustainable and beautiful, with winning craftsmanship.
The medals themselves have been designed to embrace the energy and diversity of the games with the design adapted from a winning entry by Junichi Kawanishi of the Osaka Design Society. This clean lined design evokes the ‘shining rings’ idea submitted by Kwanishi and also evokes the idea of rough stones being polished, reflecting the efforts of the participating athletes.
The medals are not insubstantial, with each medal having at least half a kilo of metal in it. Interestingly, the gold medal is not pure gold but plated with 6 grams of gold on a solid silver medal. The bronze medal is made from red brass (a combination of copper and zinc). For each medal, the name of the event has been engraved on its side. The ribbons and presentation boxes have been fabricated with a strong nod to traditional Japanese crafts, with the ribbons sporting traditional Japanese motifs and skilled craftsmen making the boxes from Japanese ash, a beautiful legacy from anyone who claims one.