The 2026 Winter Olympics torch, imagined by a designer inspired by Milan’s architecture

While the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics are currently being shifted to 2021, the games of the subsequent years are still on track, with Milan successfully bidding to host the 2026 winter games. Amidst this news, Italian designer Matteo Ercole decided to envision what the torch for the Milan Winter Olympics for 2026 would (or rather should) look like.

Ercole’s rendition of the Olympic Torch captures the true essence of Milan’s heritage and culture. Inspired by the spires of the Milan Duomo, the torch uses an inverted conical design, taking the cathedral’s intricate details and modernizing them. The modern interpretation retains the true essence of heritage Milanese architecture, while having the modern appeal of the works of architects like Stefano Boeri, who’s vertical forest also represents an iconic figure in Milan’s skyline. This fusion of styles is perhaps the perfect representation of Milan, merging the city’s rich heritage with its vibrant and colorful modern life. The top of the torch even comes with a red-colored cross, representing Milan’s flag… allowing it to act as the surface on which the ceremonial and symbolic fire burns.

Designer: Matteo Ercole

Lifting weights in a Panasonic exosuit destined for the Tokyo Olympics

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These beds for Tokyo 2020 Olympic athletes are made from robust, eco-friendly, engineered cardboard

You wouldn’t normally equate cardboard boxes and beds with the world’s most famous sporting event, but trust Tokyo to do things a little differently. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics has, ever since the beginning, advocated keeping a low carbon footprint for the global event by reusing as many resources as possible. They’ve forged their Olympic medals from rare-earth materials sourced from e-waste, and even made torches out of metal used in temporary housing units that were created as shelter for the victims of the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Organizers of the 2020 Olympic event have announced yet another area of intervention for their eco-friendly approach. Beds.

The Olympics hosts as many as 18,000 athletes (as well as an additional 8,000 athletes for the Paralympics), and the beds for them will be provided by Japanese company (and Olympics partner) Airweave. The beds will be crafted from high-resistance cardboard, which isn’t just environmentally friendly, but is stronger than wood too. In fact, the beds can take on as much as 200 kgs of weight (which is far more than any athlete weighed in the 2016 Rio Olympics). The mattresses and pillows will be supplied by Airweave too, featuring a polyethylene construction that can be easily recycled after the month-long event that starts on the 9th of August and ends on the 6th of September with the Paralympics.

“This will be the first time in Olympic and Paralympic history that all villages’ beds and bedding are made almost entirely from renewable materialism,’ say Tokyo 2020 Olympic officials. Tokyo 2020 hopes to minimize resource wastage for its global event and has set a target of recycling or reusing as much as 99% of all items and good procured!

Designer: Airweave for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Asics’ Gel-Quantum running shoe gets a special Tokyo 2020 makeover!

Created by the Gold Partner of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Asics has released a special edition of their Gel-Quantum running shoes with a vibrant color gradient and the Tokyo 2020 branding on the sides as well as the shoe tongue and rear. The shoes come with gel-cushioning in the rearfoot and forefoot and were created as a special commemorative series for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. I imagine the rainbow gradient would look absolutely fantastic when in motion, and I don’t see why this shouldn’t become a collectible item sometime in the future!

Designer: Asics