2012 Olympic Medals: 5 Quick Facts & 1 Special Medal

Our history of recognition dates back to the ancient greeks who awarded winners with wreaths of laurel. The tradition lives on today at the 2012 Olympics with both laurel and medals presented to the winners of Olympic events. Here are some interesting facts about the medals.

2012 Olympic Medals

1. Imagery

Nike, greek goddess of victory
River Thames as a symbol for London

According to the designer, David Watkins ” Its key symbols juxtapose, front and back, the goddess Nike for the spirit and tradition of the Games, and the River Thames for the city of London”

2. Designer

David Watkins. Watkins is a British artist who also did the special effects for film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

3. Selection Committee For Award Designs

Designs were submitted by over 100 artists. The selection committee included:
Sir John Sorrel (chair), Ade Adepitan (deputy chair), Sir Mark Jones, Catherine Johnson, Iwona Blazwick OBE, Niccy Hallifax and Martin Green. The LOCOG Athletes’ Committee, chaired by Jonathan Edwards, and the British Olympic Association (BOA) were also involved throughout the process.

4. Value of A Gold Medal & Specs:

Intrinsic Value: Priceless

Cost:  $700 (using current price of $1,590 per ounce)


The Gold Medal is not 100% gold, given the pricing above, the estimated 300 gold medals awarded would cost around $6 million dollars.

Gold Medal: 92.5% silver and 1.34% gold, with the remainder copper

Silver Medal: 92.5% silver, with the remainder copper

Bronze Medal: 97.0% copper, 2.5% zinc and 0.5% tin

5. Award Ceremonies

There will be 302 Victory Ceremonies to present the medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

6. BONUS: The DeCoubertin Medal

The International Olympic Committee also awards a special medal called the True Spirit of Sportsmanship medal, also known as the DeCoubertin Medal, to an athlete who demonstrates a spirit of sportsmanship. The Olympic Museum says “it is one of the noblest honours that can be bestowed upon an Olympic athlete.” The 1988 recipient of the award was Canadian sailor Lawrence Lemieux who abandoned his own sail race, when in second place, to aid two sailors who had capsized in the 470 class during the 1988 Games.

The Olympic awards celebrate the best of who we are and what we stand for. We hope the Olympics continue to inspire us at MeritShare to make recognition rock! For a sneak peak about how we are changing the face of recognition, check out our beta site.

Sources: Wikipedia, http://www.london2012.com, http://www.olympic.org/