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Going for gold: Tokyo unveils 2020 Olympics medal designs

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Tokyo Olympic organisers on Wednesday unveiled medals designed to reflect the “energy” of athletes as the city marked a year to go until the opening ceremony of the 2020 Summer Games.

The medals, which will be made from recycled materials collected from old electronics, are intended to “resemble rough stones that have been polished and which now shine,” organizers said.

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The gold, silver and bronze awards each have a rough, almost meringue like surface on the outer ring, encircling a smooth, shining centre.

“The medals collect and reflect myriad patterns of light, symbolising the energy of the athletes and those who support them,” the organisers said.

The medals were unveiled at a ceremony marking the year-to-go countdown until the Tokyo 2020 Games, with International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach praising the city’s readiness.

“I can truly say I have never seen an Olympic city as prepared as Tokyo, with one year to go before the Olympic Games,” Bach said.

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“All the elements that make a truly outstanding Olympic Games are in place,” he added, predicting “an amazing experience” for athletes.

The Olympic medals design was chosen from more than 400 entries from professional designers and design students.

“I never dreamed that the design I submitted only as a memorial to this lifetime event would be actually selected,” designer Junichi Kawanishi said.

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“I hope the medals will be seen as paying tribute to the athletes’ efforts, reflecting their glory, and symbolizing friendship.”

Ryohei Miyata, who chaired the board that chose Kawanishi’s design, said the medals showcased Japanese metal moulding techniques.

The medals will come on ribbons that use traditional Japanese chequered patterns and graphics that symbolises kimono layering techniques.

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Miyata said there is “a beautiful balance between the design of the medals and their ribbons. It makes me want to strive for a medal myself.”

The medals, which will weigh in at between 556 and 450 grams (20 ounces and 16 ounces) each, are being manufactured from metal extracted from mobile phones and other small electronics donated by the Japanese public as part of a campaign to make Tokyo 2020 eco-friendly.


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UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report

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Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.

The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.

A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.

But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.

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‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys

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In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.

"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.

The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.

"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."

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Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors

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A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.

The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.

"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.

The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.

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