Procter & Gamble in partnership with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and the International Olympics Committee officially unveiled the podiums for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 medal award ceremonies. For the first time in history, the ceremony will be held on a 3D printed Olympic podium manufactured using recycled plastic. The material was contributed by the public and recovered from the oceans as part of the Tokyo 2020 Podium Project.
Each of the 98 podiums was created with 3D printing technology, using plastic collected from more than 2,000 locations across Japan. Plastic items were collected at retail stores, in offices and in schools as a part of an education campaign focused on responsible consumption and recycling.
In addition, aluminum waste from the temporary housing units built for families affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 was used as the material to express the Olympic and Paralympic symbols, in collaboration with Tokyo 2020 Gold Partner, LIXIL Corporation.
The podium is designed by TOKOLO Asao, who also designed the Tokyo 2020 emblems. The podium design embodies the “diversity and inclusion” message embedded in the emblem. The chequered ‘ichimatsu moyo’ pattern that represents the concept of the emblems is arranged three-dimensionally on the sides of the podium, symbolizing today’s Japan through the transformation of the traditional Japanese design into a modern geometrical style. The design and its color, associated with the traditional indigo dye, express the unique image of Japan that Tokyo 2020 wishes to convey to the world.
Professor TANAKA Hiroya of Keio University helped transform the detailed design into the model made of recycled plastic using a 3D printer. The result is also meant to demonstrate Japan’s advanced technological capabilities.
While P&G has never been particularly vocal in publicizing its activities with additive manufacturing (other than a venture in bioprinting and some supply chain management), the Tokyo 2020 Podium Project was created to help achieve mutual sustainability goals, expanding P&G’s longstanding larger global partnership with the IOC to help benefit the entire Olympic Movement including the lives of athletes, moms and their families around the world.