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Tokyo unveils 2020 Olympic medals harvested from old gadgets

After successfully collecting enough unused gadgets to extract the required amount of precious metals, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee has revealed its Olympic medal designs exactly one year before the Games are set to start. The medals were designed by Junichi Kawanishi, who won a competition that drew entries from more than 400 professional designers and design students.

The medals are all 85mm in diameter, measuring 7.7mm at their thinnest part and 12.1mm at their thickest. The gold medals use more than 6 grams of gold plating on pure silver, the silver medals are made from pure silver, and the bronze medals use a red brass alloy made up of 95-percent copper and 5-percent zinc. IOC regulations mandated that the design should include the iconic five rings symbol, the official name of the games, and the Greek goddess of victory Nike in front of the Panatheniac stadium.

Here’s what the medals look like from behind:


The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee launched a two-year campaign in April 2017 to collect donated electronic devices from members of the public in order to harvest the necessary metals. 78,895 tons of gadgets were received in total, including 6.21 million mobile phones, and this resulted in the extraction of 32kg of gold, 3,500kg of silver, and 2,200kg of bronze.


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