HomeSportsTokyo Olympics Facing Backlash After Cutting Down Trees Planted at 1964 Games to Make Rings for 2021

Tokyo Olympics Facing Backlash After Cutting Down Trees Planted at 1964 Games to Make Rings for 2021

by Quentin Blount
(Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

Fans are sounding off on Twitter after news broke that the rings for the Tokyo Olympics were made from trees planted by Olympians more than 50 years ago.

The Tokyo Olympics officially began on Friday and the opening ceremony was absolutely stunning. And for many people, the Olympic rings at the opening ceremony had an extra special significance — they were created from the trees planted during the 1964 Olympics.

“The legacy of Tokyo 1964 lives on at #Tokyo2020,” the Tokyo 2020 Twitter account posted.

It was in 1964 that the Olympics were last held in Tokyo. During the games that year, those involved were asked to bring seeds with them and to plant trees in commemoration of the competition. And now, 57 years later, those same trees have been harvested to make the iconic Olympics rings that we are so familiar with.

While many fans find the significance to be really cool, there are many others who don’t find it to be cool at all. Followers of the official New York Post Twitter account responded to their article about the Olympic rings on Friday afternoon.

“Here let’s plant these trees to commemorate this wonderful event!” one fan replied. “Here let’s chop down their trees to commemorate our own event! Sounds about right.”

One fan brought up a solid point. When it comes to the Tokyo Olympics, is it acceptable to destroy the past for the future?

“Destroying the past for the present?” they asked.

“Seems appropriate,” said another fan. Not happy with the direction of this year’s games, they continued saying, “They’re murdering the rest of the ceremony too.”

How Were the Rings Made for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics?

Fans on social media seem to be split right down the middle about their feelings over the Tokyo Olympics rings. But the process that went into making them is pretty cool nonetheless.

The wood itself that was used to make the rings came from 160 pine and spruce trees that were planted during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The seeds that were planted came from Northern Europe, Canada, and Ireland.

The manner in which the Tokyo Olympics rings were made can be credited to the traditional Japanese woodworking style of Yosegi-zaiku. It’s a technique that dates back to the Edo period in Japan. It uses a combination of various wood grains, colors, and textures when creating works of art.

The Cultural Olympic Twitter account posted about the different approach to the Olympic rings that the United Kingdom took when it hosted the games back in 2012.

“The Olympic rings are beginning to appear, carved from wood, in contrast to #London2012’s industrial age designs,” they said. “It’s a beautiful structure and speaks to the importance of tradition and heritage of Japan’s craft culture.”