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Tokyo 2020: New Olympic medals unveiled, and they're made from old electronics

TOKYO – On the global stage, it’s the highest honor an athlete can receive.

In one year, the best athletes in the world will compete for the gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

On the one-year-to-go mark, athletes and spectators around the world got the first look at the coveted hardware.

As in past Olympics, the front faces of the metals feature an image of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Designed by artist Junichi Kawanishi, they measure 8.5 centimeters in diameter. The gold medals use more than 6 grams of gold plating on a silver base. The silver medals are pure silver, and the bronze medals are made from red brass alloy.

A unique feature of all three medals for the Olympics: They are 100% sustainable. They are made from metals reclaimed from old gadgets like smartphones and computers.

In April 2017, the Everyone’s Medal campaign was launched, urging the people of Japan to donate unwanted electronics, and they did.

Around 79,000 tons of used cellphones and small electronics were collected during the campaign. The Tokyo 2020 planning committee said 5,000 Olympic medals are being made for the games.

On Wednesday, the new medals were unveiled at the one-year-to-go ceremony in the heart of downtown Tokyo. It was an exciting and important day for Tokyo as Japan’s largest city prepares for the global stage.

One-year-to-go ceremony

The Tokyo organizing committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games got Tokyo to hold a one-year-to-go ceremony Wednesday to mark the one-year countdown to the Olympics Games.

At the ceremony, traditional Japanese music and dance was performed. In attendance was the governor of Tokyo, the prime minister of Japan, and the Tokyo 2020 president. The president of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Susanne Lyons, was also in attendance.

Several Japanese leaders spoke and shared their excitement about the milestone with one year to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“One year from now, Tokyo will make history. The eyes of the world will be on Tokyo. It will be a celebration of unity and diversity of all humankind” said Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee. “Preparations are making excellent progress. And the Olympic torch relay will be another moment to unite the world.”

During the ceremony, there was also a presentation of invitations to the Olympic Games.