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Medals made of old smartphones and gaming consoles…welcome to Tokyo 2020

It has been 435 days since the Rio Olympics concluded, and now there is less than 1000 days until the 2020 Tokyo Games and the next host city began celebrating that milestone over the weekend.

The festivities to mark a significant point on the countdown began in Japan’s capital city with a parade, specials stage event attended by Olympic athletes and dignitaries – including Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike – and demonstrations/public participation of three sports: BMX Freestyle, 3X3 basketball and skateboarding.

The celebrations will run until November 29.

Inspiration, participation and community engagement are all high on the priority list for the next Olympics, and accordingly Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya touched on those points at the launch of the final 1000 days until the opening ceremony.

“The more people have the opportunity to participate and feel involved during the lead-up to the Games, the stronger the Tokyo 2020’s legacy will be,” Takaya said.

“We want the 2020 Games to inspire new generations to practice sport more and to live by the Olympic and Paralympic values. Our various programs have allowed us to engage with five million people already and we will intensify our efforts over the next 1,000 days.”

Other notable changes to Tokyo over the weekend included:

The landmark Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Shinjuku were all illuminated on the night of October 28.

Tokyo’s historic Nihonbashi district and metro stations across the capital were decorated with new Tokyo 2020 graphics and images of sporting events.

Medal project a winner

There will be 339 sets of Olympic medals in Tokyo, and approximately 11,090 athletes from 206 nations vying for them.

But this time around the medals have their own unique story around them – they’ll be made from precious metals recycled from discarded smartphones, digital cameras, video game consoles and laptops.

Yep, one of the most technologically savvy country’s in the world has found a way to turn their waste in to lifelong treasure for the athletes keen to get their hands on a medal that is part 2010 iPhone, part Xbox.

The gathering of electronic devices commenced in April this year, and so far, 741,000 smartphones and 251 tonnes of disused items have been amassed.

Collections will cease in spring 2019, and is geared towards public awareness of the importance of sustainability, and to encourage everyone to play their part in the Games.

A big tick in the sustainability and inclusion boxes.

*Info and image sourced from olympic.org – read the original article here: https://www.olympic.org/news/with-a-thousand-days-to-go-tokyo-s-2020-vision-is-taking-shape