Olympics
Did you know that every hosting city gets to design their own medals in their own iconic way? To explore many more such intriguing facts about London 2012 Olympics Games Medals, read on.

London Olympic Games Medals

Possibly the most coveted dream of any athlete, the Olympics medal signifies nothing less than sheer excellence. It's the token of brilliance, the recognition of the best and foremost in the field of sports. Medals have been conferred to the winners and runners-up ever since the inception of modern Olympics in 1896. For each host city, special medals are minted every Olympics that are singular in their design and size. London 2012 Olympics Games medal is being touted as the biggest Summer Olympics medals to date. Designed by David Watkins and Lin Cheung and produced by the Royal Mint, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic victory medals is a juxtaposition of goddess Nike that symbolizes the spirit and tradition of the games, and River Thames that embodies London itself. It took great efforts from the artists and the judging panel to finalize a design that grabbed appreciations from the entire world. The London 2012 Organizing Committee (LOCOG) Victory Ceremonies team worked coherently with Philips Attwood, British Museum's Keeper of Coins and Medals to come up with a medal that covered everything, right from the geological growth of the city to its treasured traditions.

Fast Facts On The Medal

Thickness 7mm
Weight 400g
Diameter 85mm
Designed By David Watkins

2012 Olympic Games Medal Features

Significance Of The Design
The London Olympics medal is fraught with significance. While the front depicts the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike stepping out of Parthenonso to enter the host city of London, the reverse side features the Olympic logo along with the architectural expression of the city. But that is not all. It also represents a string of other symbols like River Thames, a fluttering Baroque ribbon, a bowl-shaped background and a square. The logo balances itself against a 'pick-up-sticks' grids that signifies the energy of the athletes and the sense of coming together. The sport and discipline is etched on the rim of each medal.

Medal Symbolic Features
  • The reverse side of the medal features an abstract design, which is a metaphorical representation of modern London.
  • The reverse side of medal has a bowl-like background that represents the ancient amphitheaters.
  • The rear side of the medal is branded with 2012 symbol that charters the geological growth of the city thus far.
  • The sticks like grids imply the strength and gumption of the athletes as we as the uniting force that brings them together.
  • River Thames present in the background symbolizes London and the flickering baroque ribbon adds essence of celebration.
  • The square in the design opposes the circular shape of the medal and reinfprces a sense of place.
Features Of The Medal
  • The weight of London 2012 Olympic Games medals is accounted to be 375-400g with a diameter of 85mm and thickness of 7mm.
  • The constitution of the gold medal is 92.5% silver, 1.34% gold and the remaining percentage of copper.
  • While the silver medal accounts to 92.5% silver, the remaining portion is of copper.
  • Whereas for bronze, the medal is made up of 97.0% copper, 2.5% zinc and 0.5% tin.
The Making Of The Medal
The precious ore required for the making of the medal is provided by London 2012 sponsor Rio Tinto. The metal for the medals have been mined from Rio Tinto's Kennecott Utah Copper Mine as well as OyuTolgoi project in Mongolia. Considering the small quantity of non-precious elements of the bronze medals, zinc has been obtained from a mine in Australia and also from recycled stock. The tin used in these medals have been extracted from a mine in Cornwall. Each medal has the sport and the corresponding discipline engraved on it. The entire making process consumes around 10 hours where each medal is struck fifteen times on a specific press using about 9000 tons of weight. After each five strikes, these medals are rolled through a 750 degree furnace which is undertaken to soften the metal. Hence, this process allows the designs to be replicated perfectly onto the metal.

During this year London Games, more than 2,100 medals will be given away to the athletes during 302 victory ceremonies. It surely would be a matter of immense pride and joy to wear the medal that truly reflects the spirit of London and the history of Olympics.