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Turning Old Electronics Into Prestigious Medals

Made possible by the Everyone's Medal campaign with the help of Japan's citizens


What's going on?

The organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics revealed the winner’s medals on July 24, 2019, exactly a year before the competition begins on July 24, 2020. However, that wasn’t all that took the spotlight as the medals will be made using old cell phones and other electronics – unlike any previous Olympics. These medals will be produced from gold, silver, zinc, and copper obtained from donated cell phones and old electronic devices.


The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee launched the ‘Everyone’s Medal’ campaign in April 2017 which urged citizens of Japan to donate these electronics. During the campaign, 79,000 tons of used cell phones and electronics were collected by the local authorities. Japanese phone operator, NTT Docomo also operated in-store collection points for customers to drop-off their old devices amounting to more than 6 million used cell phones. The campaign successfully yielded 32 kilograms of gold, 3,500 kilograms of silver and 2,200 kilograms of copper and zinc.


About 5,000 medals will be produced for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and this is the second time Tokyo has hosted the event. The medal’s design was selected from more than 400 professional designers and design students in a competition held nationwide, and it will have a pebble-like look measuring 8.5 centimeters in diameter. The front face of the medal will feature an image of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. These medals will be accompanied by a circular medal case made from Japanese ash wood and ribbons inspired by Japanese patterns.


Tokyo 2020 unveils Olympic medals made from old electronics