The quality of gold medals that were won at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. was publicly criticized. Chinese Olympic champion Zhu Xueying posted three pictures on Weibo of the medal that she won at the trampoline gymnastics event.
The pictures showed an obvious deformity on the left that made the medal appear as if it was peeling. In her caption, she wrote, “Can your medals … peel off too?”
A video of Zhu showing her medal to her coach went viral. There was a smudge on it. And they were unable to get rid of it even after trying to wipe it off.
“I then tried to scratch it with my nails and found that it ‘peeled off’,” she said. “I sent out the first Weibo post to see if any other athletes had the same experience.” She was not actually making a fuss about the medal’s lousy quality. She just wanted to draw attention to all the athlete’s efforts behind these medals.
People found her situation either hilarious or surprising, and her post went viral with about 20,000 comments on it. Zhu had no idea that it would create such a stir.
Another Chinese athlete, Wang Shun, claimed her gold medal began to peel too. She won gold in 200-meter swimming. She said that after discovering the peel, she didn’t even dare to pick at it anymore.
The International Olympic Committee responded to these claims by saying that it was just the protective layer of the medal that was coming off, and this would not affect the quality of the medal in any way.
The Tokyo 2020 medals were an experiment—they were made from metal extracted from electronic devices, which were donated by the Japanese public. They were not edible and were not made to be a bit on. The layer was to prevent the metal from getting scratched.
The medals were later replaced with an unvarnished one and the mayor paid for the replacements.
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