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Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini of Italy airs with the golden medal successful the lightweight women's treble sculls last astatine the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, successful Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings

TOKYO – Of course, an Olympic medal has significance. But the bouquet of flowers that each medal victor is being handed astatine the Tokyo Olympics has deeper meaning. Much deeper.

The sunflowers and each the different flowers successful the bouquet were grown successful the 3 northeastern Japanese prefectures that were devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and the consequent meltdown of 3 atomic reactors.

About 18,000 radical died successful the catastrophe that deed the prefectures of Iwate, Fukushima, and Miyagi. The betterment is inactive on-going from that time — March 11, 2011.

Organizers had hoped the Olympics would beforehand the area. But the pandemic changed overmuch of that and enactment the focus, instead, connected the postponement and moving disconnected the Games during a planetary wellness crisis. In fact, immoderate residents of the country complained that holding the Olympics distracted clip and resources from the recovery.

In Fukushima, a nonprofit enactment was acceptable up to turn flowers, hoping to assistance country spirits. Many of the blooms were raised connected vacated cultivation onshore that was abandoned erstwhile effect and rootlike income plummeted from the area.


In Miyagi, parents who mislaid children successful the catastrophe planted sunflowers connected the elevation wherever their children sought refuge from the tsunami. The enactment of remembrance has besides been told successful a children's book.

Iwate is known for producing gentians, a blue-indigo angiosperm that is the aforesaid shadiness of colour arsenic that utilized successful the Olympic and Paralympic emblems.

The 5,000 bouquets were arranged for some the Olympics and Paralympics — they unfastened connected Aug. 24 —by the Nippon Flower Council.


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