HomeMust KnowExplore the Glitters: All You Need To Know About Olympics Medals
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Explore the Glitters: All You Need To Know About Olympics Medals

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A successful candidate at the Olympic Games obtains an Olympics medal. There are 3 medals types to be won: gold, silver, and bronze, which are given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively. The distribution of Olympics medals is specified in the Olympic protocols.

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Athletes from all over the world have had to wait an additional year for their chance at the ultimate aim of winning a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. At the Tokyo Olympics, decorated athletes such as gymnast Simone Biles and swimmer Katie Ledecky will be looking to add to their hardware collection, while some Team USA members will be hoping to take home their first medals.

When were medals first awarded at the Olympics Games?

Olympic medals KreedOn
Image Source: Wiki

Triumphs at the ancient Olympics Games, which date back to 776 BCE, were adorned with olive wreaths rather than medals as seen in today’s competition.

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A brief history of the Olympics Medals

The custom of giving medals to victors began with the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. The first-place winner gets a silver medal, the second-place winner received a bronze medal, and third-place finishers were left empty-handed. At the St. Louis Olympics in 1904, the now-famous tradition of gold, silver, and bronze medals commenced.

The prizes are designed by the organizing committee of the host city. The International Olympic Committee requires that each Olympics medal design include the following elements: Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, in front of Panathinaikos Stadium, the official name of the respective Games (this summer will say “Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020”), and the Olympic five rings symbol.

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What do the 2020 Tokyo Olympics medals look like?

Olympic medals 2021 KreedOn
Image Source: Marca

The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee oversaw the “Tokyo 2020 Medal Project,” which collected tiny electrical items such as old cell phones across Japan. The project was the first in Olympic history in which a host country involved its citizens in the manufacturing of medals and used recycled materials to produce prizes for the Games.

The public was invited to participate in a design competition to submit suggestions for how the awards should appear. After receiving over 400 submissions, a design was chosen that represents the notion that athletes must “strive for success daily” to attain greatness.

Theme of Tokyo Olympics medals

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic medals will be designed on the themes of “light” and “brilliance,” and will resemble rough stones that have been polished to shine. The medals, which gather and reflect light patterns, are intended to represent the spirit of the Olympic competitors and their fans. The design of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic medal is meant to showcase the variety and to depict a society where individuals who work hard and compete are rewarded.

Do Olympians keep their medals?

Olympic Medals KreedOn
Image Source: Mental Flosss.com

Some Olympians preserve their medals and exhibit them in their houses, while others conceal their medals in unusual places.

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After the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, stated to Anderson Cooper that he keeps his gold medals wrapped in a T-shirt in a traveling cosmetics box. After the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, skier Mikaela Shiffrin told NBC that she kept her medals in her sock drawer. Christie Pearce (previously Rampone), a soccer player, admits to hiding her medals among her pots and pans, where she didn’t think anybody would check.

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How much are Olympics medals worth?

Image Source: AS English

Athletes have elected to sell their equipment. Medals aren’t worth anything before they’re presented to an Olympian. A melted-down gold medal from the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics was worth around $577, a silver medal was for about $320, and a bronze medal was only about $3.50.

The value of the medals intensifies once they are in the hands of an Olympian. Wladimir Klitschko, a Ukrainian boxer, sold his gold medal from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics for $1 million, which he later donated to a children’s charity. After selling his gold medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics on eBay, American swimmer Anthony Ervin was able to contribute $17,101 to tsunami victims in the Indian Ocean in 2004.

Top 10 countries with the most Olympics medals

  1. United States (2827 medals)
  2. United Kingdom (883 medals)
  3. Germany (855 medals)
  4. France (840 medals)
  5. Italy (701 medals)
  6. Sweden (652 medals)
  7. China (608 medals)
  8. Russia (546 medals)
  9. Norway (520 medals)
  10. Canada (501 medals)

Top 13 males with the most Olympics medals

Image Source: Medium

OLympics logos KreedOnAlso Read | 44 Olympics Logos from 1924 to 2020 | Olympics sign

S.N Athlete Country Sport Total Medals
1 Michael Phelps USA Swimming 28
2 Nikolai Andrianov Soviet Union Gymnastics 15
3 Boris Shakhlin Soviet Union Gymnastics 13
4 Edoardo Mangiarotti Italy Fencing 13
5 Takashi Ono Japan Gymnastics 13
6 Paavo Nurmi Finland Athletics 12
7 Sawao Kato Japan Gymnastics 12
8 Ryan Lochte USA Swimming 12
9 Alexei Nemov Russia Gymnastics 12
10 Mark Spitz USA Swimming 11
11 Matt Biondi USA Swimming 11
12 Viktor Chukarin Soviet Union Gymnastics 11
13 Carl Osburn USA Shooting 11

Top 9 females with the most Olympics medals

Larisa Latynina Olympic Medals KreedOn
Image Source: Wiki
S.N Athlete Country Sport Total Medals
1 Larisa Latynina Soviet Union Gymnastics 18
2 Birgit Fischer Germany Canoeing 12
3 Jenny Thompson USA Swimming 12
4 Dara Torres USA Swimming 12
5 Natalie Coughlin USA Swimming 12
6 Věra Čáslavská Czechoslovakia Gymnastics 11
7 Isabell Werth Germany Equestrian 10
8 Ágnes Keleti Hungary Gymnastics 10
9 Polina Astakhova Soviet Union Gymnastics 10

Summer Olympics medal designs

Image Source: Great Lakes Electronics

Olympic flag KreedOnAlso Read | Olympic Flag | Olympic Rings | Olympic Symbol

Games Host Designer(s) Mint Diameter
1896 AthensGreece Jules-Clément Chaplain Paris Mint 48 3.8 47
1900 ParisFrance Frédérique Vernon Paris Mint 59 x 41 3.2 53
1904 St. Louis, MissouriU.S. Dieges & Clust Dieges & Clust 37.8 3.5 21
1908 LondonGreat Britain Bertram Mackennal Vaughton & Sons 33 4.4 21
1912 StockholmSweden Bertram Mackennal (obverse)
Erik Lindberg (reverse)
C.C. Sporrong & Co 33.4 1.5 24
Josué Dupon Coosmans 59 4.4 79
1924 ParisFrance André Rivaud Paris Mint 55 4.8 79
1928 AmsterdamNetherlands Giuseppe Cassioli Dutch State Mint 55 3 66
1932 Los AngelesU.S. Giuseppe Cassioli Whitehead & Hoag 55.3 5.7 96
1936 BerlinGermany Giuseppe Cassioli B.H. Mayer 55 5 71
1948 LondonGreat Britain Giuseppe Cassioli John Pinches 51.4 5.1 60
1952 HelsinkiFinland Giuseppe Cassioli Kultakeskus Oy 51 4.8 46.5
1956 MelbourneAustralia Giuseppe Cassioli K.G. Luke 51 4.8 68
1960 RomeItaly Giuseppe Cassioli Artistice Fiorentini 68 6.5 211
1964 TokyoJapan Giuseppe Cassioli and Toshikaka Koshiba Japan Mint 60 7.5 62
1968 Mexico CityMexico Giuseppe Cassioli   60 6 130
1972 MunichGermany Giuseppe Cassioli (obverse)
Gerhard Marcks (reverse)
Bavarian Mint 66 6.5 102
1976 MontrealQuebecCanada Giuseppe Cassioli (obverse) Royal Canadian Mint 60 5.8 154
1980 MoscowRussia Giuseppe Cassioli (obverse)
Ilya Postol (reverse)
Moscow Mint 60 6.8 125
1984 Los AngelesU.S. Giuseppe Cassioli Jostens, Inc 60 7.9 141
1988 SeoulSouth Korea Giuseppe Cassioli (obverse) Korea Minting Security Printing Corporation 60 7 152
1992 BarcelonaSpain Xavier Corbero Royal Mint of Spain 70 9.8 231
1996 AtlantaU.S. Malcolm Grear Designers Reed & Barton 70 5 181
2000 SydneyAustralia Wojciech Pietranik Royal Australian Mint 68 5 180
2004 AthensGreece Elena Votsi   60 5 135
2008 BeijingChina Xiao Yong China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation 70 6 200
2012 LondonUnited Kingdom David Watkins Royal Mint 85 8–10 357–412
2016 Rio de JaneiroBrazil   Casa da Moeda do Brasil 85 6-11 500
2020 TokyoJapan Junichi Kawanishi Japan Mint 85 7.7-12.1 450-556

Source: Wiki

International olympic committee KreedOnAlso Read | International Olympic Committee | History | founder | Members

Winter Olympic medal designs

Sochi's Winter Olympic medals are the best in decades | For The Win

Games Host Designer(s) Mint Diameter
1924 ChamonixFrance Raoul Bernard Paris Mint 55 4 75
1928 St. MoritzSwitzerland Arnold Hunerwadel Huguenin Frères 50.4 3 51
1932 Lake PlacidU.S.   Robbins Company 55 3 51
1936 Garmisch-PartenkirchenGermany Richard Klein Deschler & Sohn 100 4 324
1948 St. MoritzSwitzerland Paul Andre Droz Huguenin Frères 60.2 3.8 103
1952 OsloNorway Vasos Falireus and Knut Yvan Th. Marthinsen 70 3 137.5
1956 Cortina d’AmpezzoItaly Costantino Affer Lorioli Bros. 60.2 3 120.5
1960 Squaw ValleyU.S. Herff Jones Herff Jones Company 55.3 4.3 95
1964 InnsbruckAustria Martha Coufal (obverse)
Arthur Zegler (reverse)
Austrian Mint 72 4 110
1968 GrenobleFrance Roger Excoffon Paris Mint 61 3.3 124
1972 SapporoJapan Yagi Kazumi (obverse)
Ikko Tanaka (reverse)
Mint Bureau of the Finance Ministry 57.3 x 61.3 5 130
1976 InnsbruckAustria Martha Coufal (obverse)
Arthur Zegler (reverse)
Austrian Mint 70 5.4 164
Lake PlacidU.S.
Gladys Gunzer Medallic Art Company 81 6.1 205
1984 SarajevoYugoslavia Nebojša Mitrić Zlatara Majdanpek and Zavod za izradu novčanica 71.1 x 65.1 3.1 164
1988 CalgaryAlbertaCanada Fridrich Peter Jostens 69 5 193
1992 AlbertvilleFrance René Lalique René Lalique 92 9.1 169
1994 LillehammerNorway Ingjerd Hanevold Th. Marthinsen 80 8.5 131
1998 NaganoJapan Takeshi Ito Kiso Kurashi Craft Center 80 8 261
2002 Salt Lake CityU.S. Scott Given, Axiom Design O.C. Tanner 85 10 567
2006 TurinItaly Dario Quatrini Ottaviani 107 10 469
2010 VancouverBritish ColumbiaCanada Corrine Hunt and Omer Arbel Royal Canadian Mint 100 6 500–576
2014 SochiRussian Federation ADAMAS ADAMAS 100 10 460, 525, 531
2018 Pyeongchang CountySouth Korea Lee Suk-woo   92.5   586, 580, 493

Source: Wiki

Upcoming: Paris 2024 Olympics

Philippe Starck's Paris 2024 Olympic medals design | KreedOn
Image Source: Dezeen

The 2024 Summer Olympics, scheduled for Paris, may be distant on the calendar, but the medal design has already been unveiled, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response. Embodying the spirit of the event’s motto, “made for sharing,” the design ingeniously crafted by Starck revolves around a singular medal that can be divided into three smaller ones. This innovative approach empowers winners to share their triumph with others they deem worthy of recognition.

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How are Olympic medal designs created?

Olympic medal designs are crafted by skilled artists and designers who capture the essence of the event’s theme and values.

How does the medal design reflect the values of the Olympics?

The medal’s design aligns with the Olympic spirit by promoting the idea of sharing success and acknowledging others’ contributions.

Who designed the innovative 2024 Paris Olympic medals?

The creative mind behind the unique medal concept is Starck, who cleverly incorporated the theme of sharing into the design.

What makes the 2024 Paris Olympic medals unique?

The 2024 Paris Olympic medals stand out with a design that embodies the event’s motto, “made for sharing,” allowing winners to split the main medal into smaller ones.

How are the materials for Olympic medals chosen?

The materials for Olympic medals are typically chosen based on factors like durability, cultural significance, and sustainability. Common materials include metals like gold, silver, and bronze.

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