Coca Cola to Create Unique Environment Friendly Gear for Tokyo Olympics 2020 Torch Bearers

Published 07/19/2021, 3:45 AM EDT
Tokyo’s torchbearers pose during a lighting ceremony after their relay on a public road was cancelled due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay celebration in Tokyo, Japan, July 9, 2021. REUTERS/Naoki Ogura


Sustainability is one of the key aspects of the Olympic Games. While host cities have made various efforts in the past, organisers of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 made an effort of their own.

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The Tokyo Olympic Association made a part of the Olympic torch bearers’ uniforms from recycled plastic bottles. Bottles collected by Olympic sponsor Coca-Cola were recycled and weaved into the uniform.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 works towards sustainability goal with torchbearer uniform

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During the month of March, the Olympic torch relay began from the Fukushima Prefecture. To honour the lives lost during the catastrophic 2011 earthquake, the relay started from this prefecture.

While covering a majority of Japan, they are currently in the host City, Tokyo. Today’s route starts from Katsushika City and ends in Arakawa City, which is 11km away from the Olympic Stadium.

While the association continues to meet various goals at the Olympics, the design aligns with the relay’s theme, ‘Hope Lights Our Way.’ Although the torch itself has construction waste as a material, the torchbearer uniforms partly use recycled plastic bottles.

Shuzo Matsuoka, Tokyo?s first torchbearer, exchange greetings with Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike before he leaves the stage with the Olympic torch lantern at the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay, in Tokyo, Japan July 9, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

While the material choice aligns with their sustainability goals, Olympic design director Daisuke Obana explained his interpretation of the uniform.

He said“I have interpreted the Olympic Torch Relay as being something that connects torchbearers and their thoughts; in other words everyone who will participate in the Torch Relay having various thoughts – including about the Games – and the Flame connecting those thoughts.”

READ MORE: HILARIOUS: Olympic Athletes React to ‘Anti-Sex’ Beds at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Design of the uniform based on Japanese sporting relay traditions

While the uniforms align with Japanese traditions, Obana explained the inspiration behind the design of the uniform.

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He said, “The design incorporates a diagonally-draped sash of the type used in place of batons in Ekiden, Japan’s famous long-distance relays. As well as introducing an element of Japanese tradition, the design embodies respect for the Olympic Torch Relay and aspirations for the success of the Games.

The sustainability efforts made at the Games this year look unique. While the torch relay displays a part of this, athletes at the Games will receive medals created from recycled smartphones. In addition, athletes in the village will sleep on beds made from recycled cardboard.

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WATCH STORY: 10 Game-Changing Moments at the Olympics

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Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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