After enduring an arduous year of unprecedented economic and social repercussions which stemmed from Covid-19, the postponed 2020 Olympic Games is finally taking place in Tokyo, Japan. Regarded the only Asian country to host the Summer Games twice in its history, Japan is doing things differently this year in an effort to be increasingly environmentally conscious, and inclusive.
Four New Sports
Debuting for the first time in the Olympics’ 124 year history, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing are now being recognised as official competitive sports in the event.
The ‘Living Tree’
Crafted from wood sourced from all 47 of Japan’s prefectures, the 2020 Olympics’ stadium showcases an entirely wood facade, designed to maximise breeze and air flow while minimising the use of air conditioning.
Medals From Recycled Electronics
Through collecting innumerable disused and faulty electronics from the Japanese public, the Japanese Olympic Committee has successfully created medals out of recycled components.
In an effort to minimise the impact of the Olympics on the environment, items such as podiums, uniforms, and medals have been made from recycled materials. This effort, which stretches beyond mass-produced amenities, includes the beds at the Olympic Village. Made from cardboard, these beds will eventually be recycled after the Games.
ROC – The Neutral Nation?
If you’ve noticed a strange and unrecognisable country competing in this year’s Games, fret not, for a new nation has not emerged. ROC is merely Russia.
Donning the white, blue, and red colours of the Russian Olympic Committee, these ROC players are only allowed to compete in international competitions under a ‘neutral’ flag. This is a result of the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s sanctions against Russia which have banned the nation from joining all major sporting events with their flag and national anthem for two years, due to several doping violations. So if you hear Piano Concerto No. 1 by Pyotr Tchaikovsky playing during medal ceremonies, you should now be able to recognise that team as Russian.