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I Just Learned That The Flower Bouquets Given Out At The Tokyo Olympics Have A Special Meaning And Now I'm Emotional

What a beautiful way to pay tribute to the people of Japan.

If you can believe it, the Tokyo Olympics have nearly wrapped up, with only a couple days left until the closing ceremony.

The Olympic rings pictured on the shoulder of Germany's Florian Wellbrock after he won the men's 10km marathon swimming event

Many of us, myself included, have been glued to our screens, watching and learning about the various Olympic sports. In fact, there's been a fair amount of Googling involved.

USA's Sunisa Lee competes in the balance beam event of the artistic gymnastics women's all-around final

One thing that I haven't really seen talked about is the flower bouquets given to medallists at the Tokyo Olympics.

An Olympic athlete holding Tokyo's flower bouquet

I mean, sure, they're pretty — and I thought that was about it. But today, I learned there's a much deeper meaning behind the flowers chosen to represent Japan.

Gold medallists Lilia Akhaimova, Viktoria Listunova, Andgeina Melnikova, and Vladislava Urazova (L-R) of the ROC team pose at a victory ceremony for the women's artistic gymnastics team all-around event

According to the Olympic Committee, there are five types of flowers included in the victory bouquets — eustomas, Solomon's seals, sunflowers, gentians and aspidistras.

Silver medalist Inna Deriglazova of Team ROC poses with flowers in her hand on the podium

Both eustomas and Solomon's seals have been grown and produced in Fukushima Prefecture, which was impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster in 2011.

Meanwhile, the sunflowers are from Miyagi and represent the memories of the people who were affected by the same disaster when the tsunami hit.

A bunch of wild sunflowers

Gentians are synonymous with the Iwate Prefecture, with the region producing over half of the popular flower in Japan. Also, the indigo blue colour of the gentian is used in the Tokyo 2020 Games emblem.

Two bright blue gentian flowers

Last, but not least, are the aspidistras, which have been grown in Tokyo and symbolise the host city of the 2020 Olympic Games.

The bouquets are accompanied by Tokyo's Olympic and Paralympic mascots — Miraitowa, who represents both Japan's traditions and future, and Someity, who symbolises strength and overcoming barriers.

Miraitowa and Someity figures standing on a podium

It's hoped that the flowers will not only reflect the strength of the people and recovery efforts in these disaster-affected areas in Japan, but shine a new light on them as well.

An Olympic athlete holding their silver medal and flowers

This is beautiful and makes me appreciate these flower bouquets so much more than I did before.

Sailike Walihan of Team China poses with the bronze medal and flowers during the Victory Ceremony