The Tokyo Olympics is in full swing and slowly about to end, with USA, China and Russia dominating the board in terms of medals. Apart from the prestigious medals, sportspersons at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics receive a bouquet of flowers, which holds special significance. The flowers in the victory bouquet are believed to have been grown in three districts of north-east Japan which were wrecked by the Tohuku earthquake and tsunami of 2011 and the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. According to a BBC report, more than 20,000 people lost their lives in the tragedy that hit the three prefectures of Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi. These prefectures are, to this day, undergoing recovery efforts.
There are 5000 bouquets being handed out to Olympics and Paralympics athletes and each flowers in each of those bouquets, too, has a deeper meaning. The sunflowers are said to have been grown in Miyagi prefecture, where parents who lost their children to the tsunami planted sunflowers in their memory. The kids are believed to have sought shelter from the tsunami at the spots where the flowers now grow.
The other flowers, namely the eustomas and Solomon’s seals — the white and purple flowers in the bouquet — were grown in the Fukushima prefecture by a nonprofit organisation that has been attempting to revive the still-reeling local economy.
According to a TimeOut report, Iwate prefecture grows the blue flowers that match the Tokyo Olympics 2020 logo. The report said that the 5000 victory bouquets being handed out have been produced by the Nippon Flower Council for the Games. The Olympic bouquets also have a plush Miraitowa (the Olympic mascot) in gold, silver or bronze. In the case of the Paralympic Games, it is the plush version of Someity.
The small blue flowers in the victory bouquets, called gentians, were grown in the coastal area of Iwate which was struck by the disaster of 2011. The green aspidistras in the bouquets were grown in the host city of Tokyo and thus represent it.
This year, for the first time, Olympic medals have been made by recycling old electronic gadgets which will be given to the winners at the Tokyo Olympics. The gadgets were donated by residents of Japan. They donated about 62 lakh old mobile phones for making medals. A total of 32 kg of gold was also deposited to make gold medals.