Rio 2016 reveals Olympic medals

Nearly 2,500 gold, silver and bronze medals produced according to strict sustainability criteria.

Photo: Rio 2016/Alex Ferro

Photo: Rio 2016/Alex Ferro

With 52 days until the world’s best athletes go into battle in the Olympic Games, Rio 2016 and the Brazilian Mint have unveiled the medals they will be competing with each other to win.

Bearing a design that celebrates the relationship between the strengths of Olympic heroes and the forces of nature, the 500g gold, silver and bronze medals have been made with sustainability at their heart.

The athletes who top the podium in Rio will receive medals made from gold that has been extracted without the use of mercury and which was produced according to strict sustainability criteria, from the initial mining all the way through to the design of the end product.

The silver and bronze medals have been produced using 30 per cent recycled materials. Half of the plastic in the ribbons which will be used to hang the medals around athletes’ necks comes from recycled plastic bottles. The rounded cases that hold the medals were made from freijó wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

A total of 2,488 medals have been produced: 812 gold, 812 silver and 864 bronze.

For the first time, the medals are slightly thicker at their central point compared with their edges. The name of the event for which the medal was won is engraved by laser along the outside edge.

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