A year long delay due the pandemic could not dent the fighting spirit of the contestants in the ongoing Olympic in Tokyo. Besides the much deserved medal each and every winner in the Tokyo Olympics is facilitated with a small symbolic bouquet consisting of yellow, green and bright-blue flowers tied together with a bow. 

Each elegant flower in the bunch has its own backstory, according to the BBC report, these flowers have been cultivated in the three Tokyo districts of the north-east Japan, which were wreaked by 2011 earthquake and tsunami followed by the  meltdown of the three nuclear reactor located at the Fukushima nuclear plant. These devastation left approximately 20,000 died or missing, which hit the prefectures of Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi. The ceremonial blooms presented to the medalist at Olympic and Paralympic were almost completely harvested in these three districts.

The deep-blue blossoms are the Gentians (grown since the 1960s) from the coastal area of Iwate that was wreaked by the giant waves in the 2011 disaster.

The Eustomas and Solomon's seals that are white and purple, green and frilly are produced in Fukushima, to commemorate the death of more than thousand citizens who lost their lives and residences, after the tsunami and the nuclear reactor disaster. The previously tested vegetables, harvested after the nuclear disaster showed high radiation peaks which were unfit for human consumption. So, the flower cultivation became a priority and was the only way to jump-start the local economy and thus aid in the recovery. It was an initiative by a nonprofit organization, as the aftermath of the catastrophe had left the land severely damaged for agricultural produce.

The magnificent sunflowers, which predominates the bouquets with its contrast yellow color were grown in Miyagi prefecture. These are planted in remembrance by the parents, who lost their children to the 2011 tsunami. The parents selected the hillside where their kids had sought refuge from the effects of the tsunami. These flowers were tricky to grow and the cultivators had to sort help from experts in order to produce such small sunflowers that could be bound in the petite bouquet.

The strong green aspidistras which binds the bouquet as a whole are Tokyo grown and selected to represent the host city.

The ceremonial bouquet is awarded along with the Olympic mascot- Miraitowa, which is a combination of the Japanese words mirai (future) and towa (eternity), commemorating Japans past and future.

The flowers are a tribute to remember and honor all the lives that have been lost in the wakes of disaster/calamities and it has been appreciated globally.

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