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119 days to go – Olympic and Paralympic medal designs!!

October 15, 2009
Some of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic medals

Some of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic medals

Oh la la!  How exciting!  The designs for the Olympic and Paralympic medals were released today and they are truly spectacular!  The are a collaborative work between Canadian Aboriginal designer/artist Corinne Hunt and international designer Omer Arbel.   The Olympic medals are round and the Paralympic medals slightly squared.  Both are wavy and undulating, in recognition of our mountains, oceans and snow.  And all of the medals will be etched with a portion of an art piece by Corinne.  The Olympic medals will feature different portions of a four-panel piece about Orca, and the Paralympic medals will feature different portions of a totem of Raven.

Orca art piece by Corinne Hunt used for the Olympic Medals etching

Orca art piece by Corinne Hunt used for the Olympic Medals etching.

Raven art piece by Corinne Hunt used for the Paralympic medal etchings.

Raven art piece by Corinne Hunt used for the Paralympic Medals etching.

Reverse side of the Paralympic medals, including braille.

Reverse side of the Paralympic medals, including braille.

Photo of the medals at the reveal this morning.

Photo of the medals at the reveal this morning.

Some of the details – Each medal was struck 9 times to help to develop their final shape.  The front image is laser etched on, something that is technologically tricky with an undulating surface.  The etching is meant to have a wood-grain like appearance.  The medals are being produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.  The metal for the medals was provided by Teck and consisted of 2.05 kilograms of gold for plating the gold medals, 1,950 kilograms of silver and 903 kilograms of copper!  The metal comes from Teck’s operations in British Columbia, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Alaska, Chile and Peru (Jim, a friend at Teck says that at least some of the metal was smelted in Trail and apparently Discovery Channel did some filming about it, still trying to find when the footage will air, thanks Jim!!).  Hmm… what else… The medals weigh between 500 and 576 grams (the Calgary 1988 medals between 106 and 252 grams).  The ribbon is green and blue and has “With Glowing Hearts/Des plus brillants exploits” along with Vancouver 2010 written on it.  Medallists will also receive a heathered wool felt case for their medal and a silk scarf with the master art piece on it.

I’m afraid it’s gotten late again.  I don’t mean to be up so late writing, and tonight, instead of saying more myself (yes, I’ll get to the transportation thing soon), I would much rather direct you to the wonderful video that has been made about the making of the medals.  As usual, I cried all the way through it, but it really shows the thought, love and inspiration that went into making these priceless items.  I hope you enjoy watching the ‘Making of the Vancouver 2010 Medals’!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    July 28, 2010 3:22 am

    Thanks Andrea! I remember loving themse as soon as I saw them, they really are special aren’t they. Each its own piece of art. I’m really interested in the artists behind all the first nation designs so thanks for the link to Corrine Hunt too!

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  1. 2 days 18 hours to go – Ceremonies of many sorts « 2010VanFan
  2. 5 days 8 hours to the Paralympics – Tickets and the Mint « 2010VanFan

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