The medals will be manufactured using precious metal extracted from recycled mobile phones and electronic devices
The one year to go milestone has been marked by the unveiling of the medals which thousands of athletes will compete to win at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Fifty-six years after last hosting the Games, the Japanese capital will welcome athletes from July 24 to August 9 next year, with athletics action getting under way on July 31.
READ MORE: Tokyo 2020 timetable published
Athletics competition will begin with the men’s 20km race walk on July 31 and conclude with the men’s marathon on the final day of the Games.
An expected 11,090 athletes will compete across all sports, with 339 gold medals up for grabs.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals will be manufactured using precious metal extracted from mobile phones and other small electronic devices donated by the public and the design of the medals is said to reflect the concept that in order to achieve glory, athletes have to strive for victory on a daily basis.
The medals have been created to resemble rough stones that have been polished and which now shine, with “light” and “brilliance” their overall themes.
The front of the medals shows the traditional design of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, in front of the Panathinaikos Stadium, while the back features the event name and logo, plus the Olympic five rings symbol.
“The medals collect and reflect myriad patterns of light, symbolising the energy of the athletes and those who support them; their design is intended to symbolise diversity and represent a world where people who compete in sports and work hard are honoured,” said organisers. “The brilliance of the medals’ reflections signifies the warm glow of friendship depicted by people all over the world holding hands.”
The medal design came after a competition was held for professional designers and design students, which attracted more than 400 entries.
Junichi Kawanishi, the winning designer, said: “It is a great honour that my design was selected for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic medal. I never dreamed that the design I submitted only as a memorial to this lifetime event would be actually selected.
“With their shining rings, I hope the medals will be seen as paying tribute to the athletes’ efforts, reflecting their glory, and symbolising friendship.”
Ryohei Miyata, chairperson of the Tokyo 2020 medal design selection panel, added: “I am convinced that Japanese metal moulding techniques and the superb design have combined well, and that we have the best medal in the world – one that we can be proud of.
“There is also a beautiful balance between the design of the medals and their ribbons. It makes me want to strive for a medal myself.”