So after two weeks of intense competition the Olympics are over, and Canada closed out the games in real golden style. In total, Canadian athletes are taking home a whopping 25 medals, 10 gold, 10 silver, and 5 bronze. What an amazing accomplishment!
Though I'm sure many of you have been paying close attention to the athletes and the events, have you given any thought to the medals themselves? Not surprisingly, as a goldsmith, this is something that always interests me. So in the spirit of the games, here are some facts about these coveted medals.
1300 medals were produced to hand out to winning athletes. Each medal takes approximately 18 hours of labour - that is 23,400 hours in all!
The gold medals are actually made mostly of silver, with about 1% gold content. The silver and bronze medals are - you guessed it! - made of silver and bronze, respectively. In total, the medals produced will weigh about 700kg.
The precious metals were all mined on Russian territory, and they were fabricated into medals at a Russian jewellery manufacturer called Adamas.
Here are some images of the fabrication process:
A total of 11 medal designs were submitted by Russian designers, jewellers, ad agencies, and clockmakers. The final design was chosen for its representation of the Sochi brand concept, and the multifaceted quality of the Russian culture.
Imagine designing the medals for the next games on Canadian soil? To the sketchbook I go!
In the meantime, congratulations to all the amazing athletes, and everyone else who worked so hard to make the Games such a success.
Happy Sunday sports fans!