Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Medals

by Royal Canadian Mint on October 15, 2009 · 1 comment

An all-Canadian achievement, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games athlete medals are the product of the Royal Canadian Mint’s close collaboration with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) and metal supplier Teck Resources Limited.

Olympic Winter Games Medals

Thirty-four Mint engineers, engravers, die technicians, machinists and production experts have combined forces to create an unforgettable series of athlete medals.  

The radically undulating face of the medals, evoking the iconic sea and mountains of the Vancouver-Whistler landscape, is the boldest evidence of ground-breaking creative and technical achievement writing a new chapter in the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games medals. As powerful tributes to the performances of the Olympic and Paralympic Games athletes who will receive them, the athlete medals establish several milestones:

  • at 500 to 576 grams each, they are among the heaviest in Games history;
  • with totally unique designs, no two medals are alike;
  • laser etching was used to flawlessly reproduce the unique, West Coast First Nations designs on  the undulating surface of the medals; and,

From its Ottawa facility, the Mint produced all 615 gold, silver and bronze medals for Olympic Winter Games athletes, as well as the 399 athlete medals for Paralympic Winter Games competition. 

Paralympic Winter Games Medals

It took one year of planning, innovation and prototype development to finally bring the ambitious design of the athlete medals to life and proceed with the production phase.  Thirty steps, representing 2,817 (402 days) hours of precision manufacturing, were taken to produce the medals. This complex process required:

  • computer-sculpting and milling 12 undulated dies for striking medals into their unconventional shape;    
  • converting 1,014 unique designs from two original artworks using a unique software program to prepare the laser etching of the designs onto each medal’s uneven surface;
  • casting, milling and rolling bars to cut blanks of a precise width and thickness;
  • triple striking each blank three separate times, with polishing and annealing (warming metal to make it more malleable) between each group of strikes to gradually form the medal into its complex final shape;
  • pressing a unique Mint-designed ribbon hanger into the body of each medal tested to withstand 200 lbs of pressure;
  • laser etching an individual design and text on 1014 different medals;
  • cladding each medal in a transparent protective coating to prevent premature wear and tarnishing; and,
  • cold-weather testing the medals to a temperature of -20C to confirm their integrity and durability.      

Vancouver 2010 Winter Games Athlete Medals Technical Data Sheet
Olympic Winter Games

 

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Shape

Round

Diameter

100 mm

100 mm

100 mm

Thickness

Average 6 mm

Average 6 mm

Average 6 mm

Weight

556 g

550 g

500 g

Edge

Polished

Manufacturing Method

Striking and Lasering

Quantity

205

205

205

Manufacturer

Royal Canadian Mint

Paralympic Winter Games

 

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Shape

Superellipse  (Rounded Square)

Width

95 mm

95 mm

95 mm

Thickness

Average 6mm

Average 6mm

Average 6mm

Weight

576 grams

570 grams

520 grams

Edge

Polished

Manufacturing Method

Striking and Lasering

Quantity

133

133

133

Manufacturer

Royal Canadian Mint

Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games Medals

 

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Shape

Round

Diameter

69.1 mm

69.1 mm

69.1 mm

Thickness

5 mm

5 mm

5 mm

Weight

252.4 g

226 g

106.3 g

Manufacturer

Jostens Inc.

Montreal 1976 Olympic Games Medals

 

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Shape

Round

Diameter

60 mm

60 mm

60 mm

Thickness

6 mm

6 mm

5.6 mm

Weight

160 g

154 g

124.8 g

Manufacturer

Royal Canadian Mint

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About the Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2000 certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale.

The Mint is an Official Supporter of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and has undertaken to produce the most extensive circulation coin program in relation to the Olympic Games ever conceived by any mint worldwide, while also offering limited mintage collector coins and sets. Visit www.mint.ca/2010 for Vancouver 2010 keepsakes and gifts.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mac September 13, 2011 at 7:35 am

these medals were the best yet love the wave and flow design, good job Royal Canadian Mint.

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