Meet Matej Cicka, Nanjing 2014 medal designer
The designer of the medals awarded at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, Slovak Matej Cicka, travelled to Nanjing to see the fruits of his labour. We took the opportunity to catch up with him and find out about his fascinating story.
“I feel like a big part of these Games because every winner will wear my medal. How can I describe this?” said a beaming Matej Cicka, 23, who has been smiling ever since he arrived in Nanjing.
Matej is a student at Bratislava University and it was there that he found about the medal design competition that the Nanjing 2014 YOG Organising Committee was running. “Our lecturer told us we had to make a design of a medal and enter the competition. We had to design the medals in two to three weeks and I designed this medal in three to four days.”
Three months later, Matej received a very special phone call…“To begin with I didn’t realise that I’d won something big, but when the call ended I started shaking and my heart started to beat so fast, and I realised that I’d won something big.”
As a reward for his winning design, Mathias was invited to travel to China and attend Nanjing 2014. As well as receiving tickets to the Opening Ceremony, he met with IOC President Thomas Bach, who presented him with a unique gift: a complete collection of the medals he designed.
Explaining how he went about his task, Mathias said: “I was inspired by athletics tracks. The main three tracks represent the winners, and the ends of the strips represent the positions of the athletes on the podium.”
A total of 685 athletes will wear the medals that Mathias designed. Among them is Poland’s Agata Nowak, who won gold in the women’s 10m pistol event and had the chance to meet Mathias in person.
“It’s beautiful,” she told him, proudly clutching her medal. “When I saw it on the internet, the first thing I thought was that I must win it.” “You did the job,” replied Mathias. “We are both Olympic winners.”