Tokyo 2020 Olympic Medal Designs Unveiled With One-Year-To-Go

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Medal Designs Unveiled With One-Year-To-Go

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The designs of the medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was Wednesday unveiled, exactly one year before the Games begin, can report.

The medal ribbon and case designs have also been revealed.

The medals resemble rough stones that have been polished and which now shine, with “light” and “brilliance” their overall themes.

It is claimed the design of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals reflects the concept that “in order to achieve glory, athletes have to strive for victory on a daily basis”.

“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,” a Tokyo 2020 statement reads.

“The brilliance of the medals’ reflections signifies the warm glow of friendship depicted by people all over the world holding hands.”

In order to come up with a range of designs from which to choose, Tokyo 2020 held a competition open to professional designers and design students which attracted more than 400 entries.

These were subsequently reviewed by members of a selection panel and the winning designs chosen by them.

As previously announced, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals will be manufactured using the precious metal extracted from mobile phones and other small electronic devices donated by the public.

The medals have been designed by Junichi Kawanishi, a representative of SIGNSPLAN and director of the Japan Sign Design Association and Osaka Design Society.

After graduating from Osaka University of Arts, Kawanishi continued drawing and exhibiting paintings.

The medals are said to resemble rough stones that have been polished and which now shine ©Tokyo 2020

This was while working as assistant at the space design office of the university’s design department.

He stopped drawing, however, following the death of his father in the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake and decided to take up design instead.

“It is a great honour that my design was selected for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic medal,” Kawanishi said.

“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.”

The medal ribbon will employ the traditional Japanese design motifs found in ichimatsu moyo (harmonised chequered patterns) and kasane no irome (traditional kimono layering techniques) in a modern presentation.

It is designed to be a reflection of Japan itself and of the way the country demonstrates “Unity in Diversity”.

Silicone convex lines are applied on the surface of the ribbon so that anyone can recognise the type of medal – gold, silver or bronze – by simply touching it. 

Chemically recycled polyester fibres that produce less carbon dioxide during their manufacturing process are used, with it claimed these allow the ribbons to incorporate the Tokyo 2020 core graphic colours and to be extremely durable at the same time. 

The ribbon was designed by Tokyo 2020.

The design also promotes the Tokyo 2020 brand vision of “Innovation from Harmony”.

The design of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic medal case is inspired by the Games emblem. 

Each case pays tribute to the Olympians who have reached the pinnacle of athletic achievement. 

Japanese craftsmen will carefully create the cases with a blend of traditional and modern techniques. 

Like each individual Olympian who steps onto the field of play, each medal case is distinct and has its own wood fibre pattern subtly infused into the design.

The medal case is manufactured from Japanese ash wood dyed with the same colour as the Olympic emblem, which also serves as inspiration for the shape of the case. 

“The cases themselves are a reflection of the dedicated craftsmen and the attention to detail that goes into each piece and, like the athletes who will receive the medals, each one is unique,” organisers said.

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