Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You can't miss: Design and engineering of the 2010 Olympic medals

I am an Olympics junkie. I went to the 2008 games in Beijing (check out my China blog) and plan to be in London for the games in 2012. One of the first things that intrigued me about the games in Vancouver was the design of the gold, silver and bronze medals. On my television screen, they looked like slabs of metal that were bent and imperfect, but I knew a lot of thought had to go into it, so I did a little research. I found this Web site that explains how some of the submitted the medals were made and all of the little nuances to them. Here is also an interview with the winning medal designer. Even though most reviews about the medals have been negative, calling them "microwaved Frisbees" and "heavy slabs of metal", there are positive attributes: It is the first medal to not be perfectly round, and every medal is minutely unique in design.

I would check out the blog and take a better look at the medals. Personally, I think they are beautifully designed.

In my search, I also found a cool Flash graphic from The New York Times detailing the amount of medals won by each country. Cool way to display the information, I think.

(These photos, by the way, are from The Associated Press.)


  1. How cool is this?! I have been wondering about this while watching the Olympics over the past few weeks, and you found all kinds of awesome design info about it. Thank you!

  2. I love that each one is slightly unique. I think that was such a good move on the designers part because it makes it that much more special for the athletes.

  3. Yeah, I was wondering why they were so bent, but it does add to the beauty of the design. Did you hear about the bouquets and their unique history too?

  4. I found the video on the design blog I'm following for the class, so it was kind of luck more than skill!