Sapporo kids plant marigolds to decorate Olympic marathon course

Children plant marigolds in a pot.

In an effort to decorate the courses for the Tokyo Olympic marathon and race walking competitions, which will be held in Sapporo, about 40 elementary school pupils in the northern Japan city planted 20 pots of Hokkaido-grown marigolds in a recent event at a local children’s community center.

On the pots, the children also placed stickers bearing messages to cheer on the athletes, such as “Run like the wind of Sapporo!” and “Keep going, don’t give up!”

“I hope Japanese athletes will win gold medals,” said a second grader who took part in the event. The plants will be watered daily and taken care of at the community center until the Olympic races are held in Sapporo in August.

The project sponsored by the municipal government plans to have a total of 200 pots of marigolds planted at 10 children’s community centers. These will be placed near Kita 3-jo Plaza, known by locals as AkaPla, during the marathon races, and near the race walk turning point.

Yellow marigolds were chosen as they symbolize good health.