The Olympics isn’t the Olympics without their prestigious medals. Athletes from around the globe compete every 4 years to see who is the best of the best when it comes to sports. For generations, each country that hosts the Olympics is set to create 5,000 medals to award the glorified winners of specific events. Most of the metals used for these medals are acquired from mining companies, which in turn leads to high costs. That is why Japan is planning to change the tradition, making their medals completely from recycled materials.
Source: AndrewCarr Blog
Each Olympic medal may look different, but all of them come with a specific motif. They feature Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, on one side, and the current logo of the event on the other. All they need to have to be approved as per Olympic regulations is to be 60mm in diameter and at least 3mm thick. They first place medal should also contain at least 6g of gold while the other two should be made of silver of 925-1000 grade and up. This regulation has been carried throughout all the previous Olympic games and required the services of mining companies just to get new metals as resources for it.
It wasn’t until the previous Rio Olympics that this norm was altered. They made sure that 30% their silver and bronze metals were from recycled materials. But Tokyo is moving further away from the tradition, ensuring that ALL the medals would be made from recycled metals. The committee aims to convince the Japanese public to help with donating to meet the demand for all the 5,000 medals for the event. Their goal is to collect at least 8 tons of metal, which can then be processed into 2 tons of useable metal.
The project allows the Japanese people to take part in creating the medals, which is really good. “There’s a limit on the resources of our earth,” said Koji Murofushi, Tokyo 2020 Sports Director, “so recycling these things will make us think about the environment.” Removing a mining contractor in the picture allows the Tokyo Games some effective cost-cutting, and the advertising that the committee is doing is also set to lessen the costs.The Games are set on exceeding a $30 billion budget, and this move by Japan could save them a whole lot more.