The very design of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals represents hard work and ingenuity. The concept of the design explains the process of how rough stones are polished to achieve their luster. The same goes with how athletes need to strive for victory every single day to achieve the glory that they aspire. But what were the medals made of?
The medals in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are made out of elements recovered from recycled mobile phones that were collected since 2017. In addition, these medals were made with real gold and silver, while the bronze medal was made out of red brass.
How were the Medals Made?
The Tokyo 2020 Medal Project started in April 2017. The collection of materials closed on March 31, 2019, and by the summer of the same year, the medal design was announced. In the two years, the organization was able to collect about 78,985 tons of small electronics in Japan alone. This was approximately 6.21 million used mobile phones.
From the scrap collected, the committee was able to gather a total of 32 kilograms of gold, 3,500 kilograms of silver, and 2,200 kilograms of red brass.
We hope that our project to recycle small consumer electronics and our efforts to contribute to an environmentally friendly and sustainable society will become a legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games.Tokyo Olympics Committee
(Source: The Olympics)
Who Designed the Medals?
Junichi Kawanishi is the lead designer of the medals. However, the International Olympic Committee did have specific regulations that needed to be followed. The medal’s design should include the following:
- Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. She should be situated in front of the Panathinaikos Stadium.
- The official name of the respective Games. Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020
- The Olympic five rings symbol.
(Source: The Olympics)
What were the Specifications of the Medals?
Each medal is 85mm in diameter with varying weights depending on its material. The gold medal weighs about 556 grams, the silver medal at 550 grams, and the bronze medal at 450 grams.
The medals will be engraved with the name of the event in English. Each medal will be attached to ribbons at the top of the medal itself. (Source: The Olympics)
Are the Medals Made Out of Real Gold, Silver, and Bronze?
Yes, the rumors are true! The gold medal actually contains more than 6 grams of gold, but it isn’t made out of solid gold. Instead, it is a solid silver piece coated in gold plating. The silver medal is made out of pure silver, and the bronze medal is made out of red brass, which is 95% copper and 5% zinc.
The medals also come with a special carrying case made by Japanese craftsmen. They used a blend of traditional and modern techniques to make the case. Each case is unique, with a distinct wood pattern. (Source: The Olympics)
Take a closer look of the medals here.