The Tokyo Olympics in the sign of green: the Olympic Flame runs on hydrogen

One of the symbols par excellence of international competition is renewed. The Tokyo Olympics in the sign of green: the Olympic Flame runs on hydrogen.

This is a drop less in the ocean of greenhouse gases (51 billion tons) in the earth's atmosphere. But, as a symbolic gesture, perhaps it is worth much more than the amount of CO2 emissions saved: the Olympic flashlight of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Games (starting Friday, July 23, 2021) will be powered by hydrogen. The same will happen for the brazier that, according to a tradition dating back to Ancient Greece, will be set up during the opening ceremony and will remain lit for the duration of the Olympics and Paralympics.

The announcement comes from the same organizers of the Olympics, who have put at the center of their work a principle of environmental sustainability, for example by preparing the use of half a thousand hydrogen vehicles. The hydrogen was manufactured in Namie, a town in Fukushima prefecture. It is precisely from Fukushima, where the human and environmental tragedy triggered by the failure of the nuclear power plant in 2011 took place, that the hydrogen flashlight was launched.

What is the Olympic Flame ceremony

In fact, tradition dictates that, after being lit in Olympia, Greece, the flashlight reaches the country hosting the Games to be carried around in the months leading up to the inauguration. This year the celebrations were challenged by the propagation of the Covid, so the relay was more bumpy: in fact, a year passed between the lighting and the restart in Japan. The final destination, after four months of travel across the country, is of course Tokyo, where the Olympic flame will be the fulcrum around which will revolve the entire opening ceremony set for next Friday.

What problems are there at the Olympics because of the pandemic

The pandemic continues to bedevil a world sporting event started under a bad star, a bit like what happened with the European Football Championships. Since the beginning of July, 71 cases of coronavirus have been detected among staff members and athletes who are expected to take part in the eagerly awaited Olympics. The precariousness of the situation also throws the organizing committee into confusion: "Cancellation is not an option," said the number one of the International Olympic Committee. More cautious his counterpart from the Japanese division: can a last minute cancellation be ruled out? "We cannot predict what will happen with the number of cases." This was Toshiro Muto's answer at the press conference.

Not only Olympics: other sustainable projects revolve around agriculture - and, specifically, tractors - and even spider silk, which could replace plastic.

Giuseppe Giordano