2020 Tokyo Olympics: All Medals Are Made from Recycled Electronic Devices

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Stanislav KrasilnikovTASS via Getty Images)

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics athletes may be hungry for a gold medal, but biting down on them may not be the best idea. Recently, the official Tokyo 2020 Olympics Twitter paged joked about the practice, noting that the winners may want to refrain from the peculiar tradition.

“We just want to officially confirm that the #Tokyo2020 medals are not edible!” noted the #Tokyo2020 Olympics Twitter page on Sunday, July 25. “Our medals are made from material recycled from electronic devices donated by the Japanese public. So, you don’t have to bite them… but we know you still will.”

Of course, the puns are endless. The athletes are hungry for the gold or the competitors are eager to “taste” victory. However, in all seriousness, there may be a reason for the 2020 Olympic medal winners to avoid the iconic bite photo.

But, the reason the 2020 Olympics champions should avoid this, is very, very sweet. In an effort to minimize the carbon footprint of the world’s largest athletic competitions, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics committee has opted to use recycled materials to create the coveted awards.

The medals are made out of recycled electronics such as cell phones and other similar devices. But, this hasn’t stopped many of the gold medal winners from taking part in the goofy tradition.

Tokyo Olympics Champions Love the “Taste” of Victory

It’s an image that athletes are eager to recreate. A photo depicting them chomping down on their Olympics medal to “check” its authenticity. It’s an Olympics image that communicates so many emotions. As well as a sort of “I can’t believe this is really happening!” message. Or a sort of message saying, “Is this real?!”

It has been said that long ago when gold was a regular form of currency, it was common for people to chomp on a coin to check its authenticity. It was believed that people did this to make sure it wasn’t another type of substance that has simply been plated in the precious metal. The real gold is more malleable – so the teeth marks would likely leave an indentation.

At some point, this bite became a sort of regular “thing” as Olympics gold medal winners have been posing with their medals while chomping down on the award. Of course, the authenticity isn’t questioned…it just makes for an awesome photo.

And, good thing, too. NBC Chicago reports that the gold medals that are only about 1.34 percent gold.