The Tokyo Olympics has come a long way to be finally aired this year after being postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic.
It’s safe to say that it has been the Olympics of many firsts, from having no live spectators present during the opening ceremony to new sports being introduced such as skateboarding, baseball and karate.
It is also the only Olympics in history that made its medals from small, recycled electronic devices such as mobile phones following a call for sustainability where Japanese citizens turned in their old phones, which inevitably allowed them to contribute to the event.
The medals were made through a process called smelting which involves extracting metals with heat and melting them.
The Tokyo 2020 Medal project brought the act of sustainability and recycling to new heights by collecting 78,985 tonnes of electronic devices to forge approximately 5000 medals.
Other sustainable initiatives include sturdy beds in the Olympic village that are made out of recycling cardboard. Although some have said that the cardboard beds were present to prevent athletes from having sex, the claim has never been proven.
Nevertheless, we hope that future Olympics, especially the upcoming one in 2024 in Paris, will follow Japan’s footsteps in creating a more sustainable sporting event.