A LITTLE BIT OF OLYMPIC MEDAL HISTORY FROM THE PERTH TROPHY SPECIALISTS
As the countdown towards the London 2012 Olympic Games ticks on, the excitement is mounting.
The winners of the gold medals at the Olympics have achieved the pinnacle of excellence - they’ve been awarded the ultimate badges of supremacy. But behind the accolades and the glory, there’s a fascinating history filled with anecdotes, facts and figures about these coveted awards and trophies.
At the first ‘modern’ Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896, the winners weren’t presented with gold medals...but with an olive wreath and silver ones. Prizewinners had to wait eight more years to get a gold medal .....at the 1904 Games in St Louis.
The last gold medals that were manufactured entirely from gold were awarded in 1912 - nowadays they are manufactured from a variety of materials, including silver and glass. However, they are required to contain six grams of gold.
It’s up to the organising committee of the host city to decide on a design for the medals and badges - for example, in 1992, they were made mostly of glass (Albertville) and in 2008, they incorporated a jade inlay (Beijing). The medals for the 2012 London Olympics depict Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory and were designed by renowned British artist, David Watkins who won a six-way tender process.
And contrary to popular belief, not all the medals are round. For example, the 1998 Nagano Olympics and the 2006 Turin ones had a hollowed-out design and the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City were octagonal in shape.
And the race to accumulate gold medals isn’t limited to the world’s elite athletes....the different countries also want the accolades. In fact, the most golds ever won in a single Olympics is 83 (US 1984).
These are just a few gems from the annals of Olympic history from one of the leading suppliers of medals and awards in Perth, Accent Trophies - and with the 2012 Games just around the corner, the history books are bound to be rewritten, time and time again!.