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TOKYO 2020: How much are Olympic medals worth?

Leave a comment / By: manifel / 28 July, 2021 09:33:42AM
TOKYO 2020: How much are Olympic medals worth?

Becoming a medalist, especially a gold medalist, is something that every athlete aspires to achieve in their careers. 

Standing on the podium at the Olympic Games is arguably the most precious moment athletes want to achieve in their sporting careers. 

The top finishers in every event at the Olympic Games are awarded gold, silver and bronze medals, a tradition that began at the St. Louis 1904 Olympics. 

Olympic medals are sporting memorabilia and as such carry a higher price than simply the value of their raw materials. They not only represent the greatest honour for the athletes but also an opportunity for the hosting nation to showcase its culture and charm to the rest of the world. 

But what value do they carry?

For simple economic reasons, Olympic medals, from gold to Bronze, are no longer made of pure metal.

In fact, there hasn’t been a ‘real’ gold medal handed out at the Olympics for over a century. The 1912 Stockholm Games were the last to primarily use the original material for a gold medal.

Solid gold medals were given out during the 1904, 1908 and 1912 Olympics, but a shortage of gold during World War I meant no complete gold medals have been given to Olympians since then.

The Tokyo Organising Committee has reserved about 5,000 medals for athletes participating at the 2020 Olympic Games.

According to Spanish press publication AS, the market price for an ounce of gold is $1,892 and, based on the hike in gold and silver prices, the metal in an Olympic gold medal has increased in value from about $508 in Rio to $790.34 in Tokyo while the Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medal has is valued at about $440 up from $261 for silver medals that were given out in Rio, 2016. 

Meanwhile, a bronze Olympic medal costs $4.70 in terms of the raw materials required to produce it.

The medals were produced from recycled mobile phones that were contributed by people all over Japan between April 2017 and March 2019.

To produce these valuable medals, the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) conducted the “Tokyo 2020 Medal Project” to collect small electronic devices such as those used in mobile phones from all over Japan.

The project is the first of its kind in the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to involve citizens in the production of medals, and to manufacture the medals using recycled metals where Japanese citizens donated about 80 000 tons of used electronics to forge sustainable prizes.

Every Olympic medal being given out at the Olympic Games must be at least 3 mm thick and at least 60 mm in diameter.

Rwanda is among 2015 countries represented at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Games, with its athletes still fighting to end the country’s Olympic medal jinx since its first appearance in 1984. 

The Games attracted a total of 11,091 athletes from across the globe.

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