Olympic organizers to athletes: Please don’t bite your medals

Olympic organizers are asking athletes to think twice before taking a test bite out of their new hardware.

The habit, a common sight among across champions in any event, comes with an unusual twist these Olympics: All medals are made of recycled cellphones. It led Tokyo’s organizing committee to warn athletes on Twitter, somewhat in jest, that their reward isn’t an edible arrangement.

The Tokyo 2020 medal project, an initiative organizers are using to promote sustainability throughout the Olympics, collected approximately 78,985 tonnes of devices — around 6.21 million used phones — from across the country to create the hardware. Using accredited contractors, the phones were then picked apart to extract gold, silver and bronze from their parts.

By the end of the process, 32kg of gold, 3,500kg of silver and 2,200kg of bronze were collected — all of which were used to make around 5,000 medals.

The hardware-biting trend has a long history in the sporting world: All-time tennis great Rafael Nadal has always put the French Open trophy between his teeth after winning the clay slam.

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