If you’ve been watching the Tokyo games, you’ve probably noticed that medal winners are also handed a small bouquet of yellow, green and blue flowers tied with a blue bow. These victory bouquets aren’t just pretty, they have a special significance in Japan. The flowers used in them are all grown in the three areas of Japan that were devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that followed.
The flowers have a deeper meaning, as they’re supposed to symbolize Japan rising from those catastrophes.
- The bouquets’ Eustomas, the green and frilly flowers, are grown in Fukushima where the nuclear reactor meltdown happened, making it an unlikely place to grow flowers. But a nonprofit began trying to grow Eustomas there to help jump-start the economy and help with recovery in the area.
- The sunflowers are a tribute to the children in Miyagi who died in the earthquake and tsunami. Parents who lost their children in the disasters plant sunflowers on a hill there in their memory.
- Iwate is known for growing gentians, the deep-blue flowers that are the same shade as the color used in the Olympic and Paralympic emblems.
More than 5-thousand victory bouquets were arranged for the Olympics and Paralympics, which open August 24th.
Source: New York Post