The Olympic rings on display for the games’ opening ceremony in Tokyo were created using trees planted by athletes more than 50 years ago, when the competition was last held in the city. 

During the 1964 Tokyo Games, athletes were asked to plant trees to commemorate the competition, and 57 years later, they were harvested to create the gleaming symbols that were wheeled out during the Olympics opening ceremony Friday, Tokyo 2020 tweeted

The wood came from 160 pines and spruces grown from seeds that came from Northern Europe, Canada and Ireland.

They were constructed in the traditional Japanese woodworking style of Yosegi-Zaiku — a marquetry technique that dates back to Japan’s Edo period and uses different grains, colors and textures of wood to make mosaic designs, the New Zealand team tweeted

The Olympic rings were carved out of wood from 160 pine trees and spruce trees.
The Olympic rings were carved out of wood from 160 pine and spruce trees.

“The Olympic rings are beginning to appear, carved from wood, in contrast to #London2012‘s industrial age designs,” Cultural Olympic wrote on Twitter, referencing the different approach the UK took when it hosted the games in 2012.

“It’s a beautiful structure and speaks to the importance of tradition and heritage of Japan’s craft culture.”

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