Being presented with an Olympic medal is definitely the highlight of any victory ceremony, at the Tokyo Games however, the medallists are also handed a beautiful flower bouquet. Just like the meaningful symbolism and references entwined into the Olympics opening ceremony, these bouquets also hold a deeper meaning.
The Olympic victory bouquets are made of flowers grown in prefectures affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which devastated the country back in 2011. There are sunflowers, gentians, eustomas and Solomon's seals. The blooms are sourced from the three prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate, which are still undergoing recovery efforts to this day.
Each flower in the bouquet also holds a special meaning. In Miyagi prefecture, parents who lost their children have returned to the spot where the kids sought shelter from the oncoming tsunami and planted sunflowers in their memory every year. This touching story has also been commemorated in a children's book.
In Fukushima, eustomas and Solomon's seals are grown by a non-profit organisation which was established to aid the prefecture’s recovery when the production of agricultural products took a hit from the disaster.
Iwate prefecture is known for growing brilliant blue gentians, which are the same shade as the Tokyo 2020 logo.
A total of 5,000 bouquets have been produced by the Nippon Flower Council for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Olympic bouquets also include a plush version of the Olympic mascot Miraitowa in either gold, silver or bronze (Someity for the Paralympic bouquets). Keep an eye out for these beautiful flower arrangements the next time you tune in to the Games.
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