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London 2012 unveils Olympic medals

The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) has unveiled the medals that the world’s finest athletes will be striving to win at next year’s Olympic Games. The medals were revealed by Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, and LOCOG Chairman Sebastian Coe at a special ceremony in London’s Trafalgar Square, as the city marked one year to go until the start of the Games.

The gold, silver and bronze medals, which were designed by British artist David Watkins, are 85mm in diameter and 7mm thick, weighing between 375g and 400g.

The front of the medals features the traditional image of the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike, stepping out of the Parthenon to arrive in the Host City, while the reverse features an abstract design with the London 2012 logo at its centre, as a metaphor for the modern city.

The design also includes a ribbon, representing the London’s River Thames, and an interlocking grid pattern that radiates from the centre and pulls the design together, giving it a sense of outreach, while also representing the achievements and efforts of Olympic athletes. A square, which encases and balances the design, opposes the circular shape of the medals and emphasises its focus on the centre, reinforcing the sense of ‘place’, as in a map inset.

At the Games next year, more than 2,100 of the medals will be presented to athletes during 302 victory ceremonies. The sport and discipline of the medal-winning athletes will be engraved on the rim of every medal.

IOC President Jacques Rogge, who attended the unveiling in Trafalgar Square, said: “Highlighting the effort and achievement of the athletes, as well as the city where the Games are held, these beautiful medals will be a fitting reward for the Olympic medallists of 2012. It is the pinnacle of a sporting career to become an Olympic champion but I am confident that receiving one of these medals will make it all the more special in London next year. Congratulations to LOCOG for creating a design that will inspire the Olympians of 2012.”

Coe added: “I hope that seeing the design of the London 2012 Olympic medals will be a source of inspiration for the thousands of athletes around the world who are counting down the year before they compete at the greatest show on earth. All of our preparations are focused on ensuring the athletes are at the heart of the Games, and I believe that through this rigorous process the panel of experts have selected an artist and a design for medals that all athletes would be proud to own.”

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