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Olympic medals 2020

Olympic medals 2020

Less than a year is left before the Summer Olympic Games, and the organizers of the competitions declare that they are ready to demonstrate a new standard for their holding. Without delay, they already presented the first evidence of their words - at the ceremony in Tokyo, which began the countdown of the Olympics start, the Japanese showed medals of future champions, which are made of elements of old electronic gadgets.

Broken or obsolete electronics is simply thrown away in Japan, but electronic garbage can be very valuable if handled skillfully. Elements of telephones, laptops and other devices contain precious metals that can be removed for reuse. After thinking about this, in 2017 the Olympic organizing committee announced a voluntary collection of unnecessary gadgets among the population, 4000 specialized reception centers were created for it.

В 2017 году Олимпийский оргкомитет объявил среди населения добровольный сбор ненужных гаджетов

The Olympic organizing committee announced a voluntary collection of unnecessary gadgets among the population in 2017, photo WEB

More than 2.7 tons of bronze, 3.5 tons of silver and about 30 kilos of gold were required to make 5000 medals, and last fall the target volume of these metals was almost completely covered. By October 2018, the Japanese donated to a good cause more than 5 million all kinds of electronic devices with a total weight of about 50 thousand tons, and officially the collection ended on March 31 of this year.

Four months later, the organizers of the Olympics in Tokyo demonstrated the final design of new medals, which changes every season. So, next year the champions will wear awards with the image of the Greek goddess of victory, Nika, standing in front of the Panathinaikos stadium. On the reverse side, the name of the Games and five Olympic rings are engraved.

Champions will wear awards with the image of the Greek goddess of victory, Nika, standing in front of the Panathinaikos stadium

Champions will wear awards with the image of the Greek goddess of victory, Nika, standing in front of the Panathinaikos stadium, photo WEB

The author of the design idea was the artist Junichi Kawanishi, whose sketch won the competition among four hundred others. All three types of Tokyo 2020 awards are traditionally a round plate, the diameter of which this time was 85 mm and the thickness was 7.7 mm.

For an athlete there is no reward more valuable than the Olympic medal. This is a dream come true, an indisputable embodiment of excellence, a confirmation of talent and a reward for incredible work ... But what is the nominal value of the highest sports award? From a historical point of view, it is extremely expensive. So, for example, the Jesse Owens award was sold at auction for $ 1.5 million, but the real price of gold medals in recent years will not reach six hundred.

Gold Medal of American athlete Jesse Owens

 The Gold Medal of American athlete Jesse Owens, photo WEB

Since the time of Stockholm in 1912 they are not made of pure gold, but the rules provide for a minimum amount of noble metal in medals, which is 6 grams.

Tokyo's highest-value medals, in accordance with all requirements, will be made of 925 sterling silver and coated with a six-gram layer of gold. Silver medals will be made of pure silver, and this time without the addition of copper, unlike the practice of previous years. Traditionally, bronze will be cast from an alloy of red brass, consisting of copper with the addition of 5% zinc. The ribbon for the Japanese medal is also made from recycled polyester.

Japanese medal ribbon is made from recycled polyester

Japanese medal ribbon is made from recycled polyester, photo WEB

It is interesting that the ribbon in general became a necessary element only in 1960, and before that the awards were handed to the winners simply by hand. The organizers of the Games in Rome decided to hang them around the neck - they were the first to make thin chains of bronze in the form of an olive branch. The idea appealed to both the public and athletes, and since then the ribbon or chain has been attached to each medal.

By the way, the very tradition of awarding medals to athletes was laid a little more than a hundred years ago, in 1904, at the Olympics in St. Louis. Before that, the winners were honored with cups, and even earlier, in ancient Greece, athletes were even awarded with olive wreaths.

 

Olympics Medals of 1904

Olympics Medals of 1904, photo WEB

Creating awards from recycled electronic devices was not the only “green” initiative of the organizing committee of the Games 2020. Also, a hundred podiums for the winners of the upcoming Olympics will be made of recycled plastic. According to preliminary calculations, 45 tons of raw materials will be required to implement the plan.

Competitions will begin on July 24, 2020 and end on August 9. The venue for the Olympics this time will be Tokyo.

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