The gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games not only represent the greatest honour for the athletes but also an opportunity for Japan to showcase its culture and charm to the rest of the world.

Instead of creating the medals from scratch, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo Olympic) conducted the “Tokyo 2020 Medal Project” to collect small electronic devices such as used mobile phones from all over Japan. This project marks its first time in the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to involve citizens in the production of medals, and to manufacture the medals using recycled metals. About 5,000 medals have been produced from electronic devices contributed by people all over Japan.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Medal: From Scrap to Champs
Junichi Kawanishi
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Medal: From Scrap to Champs
“Tokyo 2020 Medal Project”.

The medals are designed by Junichi Kawanishi (pictured above), representative and designer of SIGNSPLAN, Director of Japan Sign Design Association as well as Director od USD-O (Osaka Design Society). The design of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals should reflect the concept that, to achieve glory, athletes have to strive for victory on a daily basis. Their design is intended to symbolise diversity and represent a world where people who compete in sports and work hard are honoured.

The International Olympic Committee regulations have stipulated that the obverse medal design should include the following elements:

  • Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, in front of the Panathinaikos Stadium
  • The official name of the respective Games, in this case Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020
  • The Olympic five rings symbol