August 2, 2021 8:00:44 pm
For any sportsperson, winning a medal at the Olympics is a huge achievement and a great validation. It boosts their morale and sets them up for future glories. At the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, many athletes have led their countries to victories, securing both respect and a medal.
And while everyone understands the value attached to gold, silver and bronze medals, not many people know of the significance of the bouquet of flowers that are also handed over to the winners. The ones that are a part of the Tokyo Olympic Games are particularly special. Read on to find out why.
According to a BBC report, more than 5,000 bouquets are being handed to athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and these are believed to have been mainly grown in three districts of north-east Japan, which were devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, which saw a meltdown of three reactors.
Per the report, 20,000 people tragically died in the catastrophe that hit the prefectures of Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi.
The Olympic Games, which are celebrated every four years, were supposed to happen last year — but got postponed because of the pandemic. This year, they have given an embattled world a reason to smile. So, it is only apposite that we remember and honour the people we have lost to calamities, and Japan is doing just that.
The BBC report states that the bouquets of yellow, green and blue flowers being presented to the medallists have been grown almost entirely in the aforementioned three districts.
The yellow sunflowers, which are seen in many bouquets, were grown in Miyagi. They were said to have been planted by parents whose children died in the disaster. These parents chose the hillside where their kids had taken refuge during the tsunami.
The white and purple eustomas and Solomon’s seals were grown in Fukushima, a part of a non-profit initiative to try and revive the local economy, which had been severely impacted by the disaster.
The bouquets also contain gentians — small bright blue flowers — which were grown in Iwate, a coastal area devastated by the 2011 disaster.
Additionally, these bouquets also have green aspidistras, which represent host city Tokyo, where they were grown, the report states.
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