Here comes the 800 meters sprinters taking their paces in the final race.

Then the top 4 brake ranks and take the lead.

Towards the finishing line, one runner takes the lead.

All the years and months of hard-work were in preparation for these final moments.

She perseveres, the cheers keep getting louder and louder.

She holds on, and she wins, breaking the world record by a couple of seconds.

She is excited, her country supporters on the stands are besides themselves.

Tears rolling down her cheeks, breathless and in disbelief, her other competitors come to her to congratulate her and give her a hug and a tap on her shoulder.

She stretches her country’s flag on her back and gingerly jogs to the small crowd in the stands to celebrate with them.

Then come the moment of prize-giving.

She steps on the tri-level podium, taking up the centre position, the first position, the highest of the two stands.

That moment she has been dreaming about, those long hours and hours of painful exercises are about to be summed up by the cherry on top, the moment to receiving your gold token on a string.

The gold medal comes…. and it is…

Made up of trash, of e-waste to be precise, from recycled material.

The Japan 2021 Olympic Medals are made from metal obtained from recycled consumer electronics.

This for me has to be the best moment of the tournament.

It is encouraging to see circular economy being embraced in this manner.

This is no longer gospel that is preached all the time, but rather it is becoming lived experienced.

Another example is Kaizer Chiefs [South African professional soccer club], unveiling it’s new soccer jersey for the coming 2021/22 season, and the jersey is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.

I’m sure there are other various sporting codes and teams that have adopted circular economy principles.

Plastic is an ever present in most of our lives. Sadly, the result is the presence of billions of tons of plastic wasted all over the planet.

So, eliminating plastic is a near impossibility. And, even if we will hopefully make strides toward [significantly?] reducing plastic use over time, we also need to find a way to recycle plastic.

This has proved to be really difficult in the past and researchers have been attacking the problem in earnest over the past two decades.

It is encouraging to see sport embracing the challenge and coming up with innovative and creative ways of try to solve the plastic problem and contribute towards environmental sustainability.

It is still a long way to go, but every effort counts.

Well done to the brains behind these initiatives at the LOC of the Tokyo Olympics and to Kaizer Chiefs.

You deserve to be at the top of the tri-level Olympic podium.

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