The two-year Tokyo 2020 Medal Project collected via recycling all of the metals required to manufacture the roughly 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals for this year’s Olympic and Paralympic medals.
The metals were extracted from small electronic devices – like smartphones – from across Japan.
Altogether, 32 kilograms of gold, 3,500 kilograms of silver and 2,200 kilograms of bronze were recovered, and every single medal awarded to the athletes of the 2020 Olympics will be made from recycled metals.
Designed by Junichi Kawanishi, the Tokyo 2020 medals highlight athletes’ daily determination to achieve victory and resemble rough stones that have been polished and now shine with “light” and “brilliance” – the medals’ overall themes.
Each one measures 85 millimetres in diameter with a thickness ranging from 7.7 millimetres to 12.1 millimetres. The gold medals weigh 556 grams and are composed of more than six grams of gold plating on pure silver; the silver medals weigh about 550 grams and are composed of pure silver; and the bronze medals weigh about 450 grams and are composed of 95 per cent copper and five per cent zinc.
The Summer Olympics are set to kick off on July 24.