The 2022 Winter Olympics may be coming to an end, but a Finland-based energy company is using recycled plastics to honor a moment from an Olympian in 1972 who fell, got back up and still won the gold medal.
Fortum Oyj is using its Circo-brand recycled plastic in the Virén chair, named for Lasse Virén, a Finnish long-distance runner who took gold and set a record at the 1972 Munich Olympics in the 10,000-meter run — despite falling about halfway through the race. It was one of four gold medals Virén won.
The chair's shape and weighted base allow it to right itself if it falls, Fortum says, using Virén the runner as the inspiration.
Fortum, based in Espoo, Finland, says that the chair is also attempting to rewrite the mindset for plastics.
"For the past decade the industry has been misdirected to discuss reducing the use of plastic, when focus should in fact go to increasing its recycling rate," the company said in a news release.
The Virén's design echoes the Scandanavian furniture of the 1950s and 1960s, and the chair is positioned as a high-end object, not a downcycled park bench.
It's kind of hard to picture what a "self-rising chair," to use Fortum's phrase, means, so check out a promotional video on YouTube to see it yourself.