ONTD Political

Vancouver unveils untraditional medals for 2010 Winter Olympics

3:03 am - 10/17/2009

The medals that will be awarded at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics were unveiled today, with organizers touting the awards' connections to Canada, utter uniqueness and hefty weight. What they didn't mention is that they look like microwaved frisbees:

The gold medal looks like it belongs in a bowl of potato chips at King Midas's house. So far I've heard people comment that the medals look like gelt, melted 45s or, as I thought, something from a Dali painting.

But before we get too critical, here are a few facts and explanations of how the medals came to get their, uh, interesting form:

-- The medals of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games are circular in shape and based on a large master artwork of an orca whale by Corrine Hunt, a Canadian designer/artist of Komoyue and Tlingit heritage. Each of the medals has a unique hand-cropped section of the abstract art, making every medal one-of-a-kind.

-- They are among the heaviest medals in Olympic, weighing between 500 grams to 576 g depending on the medal.

-- Each feature a different crop of larger contemporary Aboriginal artworks and are undulating rather than flat — both firsts in Games history. The dramatic form of the Vancouver 2010 medals is inspired by the ocean waves, drifting snow and mountainous landscape found in the Games region and throughout Canada.

They're still ugly. But, as Lisa Diller wrote on the Olympics blog at The Los Angeles Times, no athlete is going to quibble about the strange design of an Olympic medal. However, the traditionalist in me likes a simple round shape, a reliefed, venue-specific design and the Olympic rings.

The Summer Games usually follow this design, opting for a traditional format for every Olympics which usually feature the goddess of victory, Nike, on the front and backs designed by organizers of the host city. The Winter Games have less rigid structures in place for medals, which is how you end up with Vancouver's waviness. At least they're gold, silver and bronze though and not glass medals like Albertville handed out in 1992 or, even worse, the Torino doughnuts.


You can say it was inspired by all the grand things in the world: they're still bleh to me.  Though I guess good on them for commisioning from a native Canadian artist.
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winniechili 17th-Oct-2009 07:22 am (UTC)
Those are cool looking

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mouseling 17th-Oct-2009 07:26 am (UTC)
Mmkay, they do look pretty cool from the front, but I think the wavy thing is overdoing the concept a little bit...
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
womaninthepark 17th-Oct-2009 07:23 am (UTC)
Guh, they seriously need to stop trying so fucking hard to be all ~special snowflake~ about the games.
mouseling 17th-Oct-2009 07:27 am (UTC)
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
box_in_the_box 17th-Oct-2009 07:49 am (UTC)
See, I get what they were trying to do, as graphic designers, but the fact remains, the primary way that most people are going to see these medals is through television and newspaper cameras with long lenses, and guess what? When these things aren't perfectly posed by themselves, at just the right angles, and are instead being worn by actual people, who are being photographed and videotaped from considerable distances in certain cases? They're gonna look like melted shit.

It's like fashion design; the reason that 90 percent of it fucking sucks ass is because it's not designed to be worn by ACTUAL PEOPLE.
box_in_the_box 17th-Oct-2009 07:28 am (UTC)
This is like when they made an alien cartoon sperm the mascot of the '96 Olympics.

If you have to try and EXPLAIN why it does not suck? It DOES suck.
mouseling 17th-Oct-2009 07:29 am (UTC)
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
(no subject) - Anonymous
erinleighralph 17th-Oct-2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
I have seen a TON of stuff online where people LOVELOVELOVE the stuff but I think it's been balls since HBC took over from Roots.
escherichiacola 17th-Oct-2009 07:31 am (UTC)
Didn't even know they customized medals (yeah, I don't really follow the Olympics). Maybe there was a previous post about something like but probably missed it.
evilgmbethy 17th-Oct-2009 07:51 am (UTC)
yeah, every games has its own unique medal design. It's kinda neat, I think. Let's the cities put their local flavor on it.
aymaera 17th-Oct-2009 07:35 am (UTC)
I like them, I think they're pretty and I like the warping
evilgmbethy 17th-Oct-2009 07:50 am (UTC)
IDK, I think they're cool looking.

Was it Athens that had the really hideous "lump of clay" look to them?

I think my favorite medals were Albertville in 1992 that were made of Lalique crystal:

I love the Winter Olympics! Can't wait.
mindrtist 17th-Oct-2009 08:02 am (UTC)
That is beautiful.
hinoema 17th-Oct-2009 08:02 am (UTC)
I want to unwrap them and eat the chocolate.

What, there's no chocolate? Boo!
kokosalaki 17th-Oct-2009 08:03 am (UTC)
I think they look pretty nice.
mindrtist 17th-Oct-2009 08:08 am (UTC)
Yikes, those are horrid. You want a medal that, when someone walks into your house and sees it in a display case KNOWS WHAT THE HELL IT IS. Christ, who's playing with Shrinky Dinks at this advanced age?
mindrtist 17th-Oct-2009 08:15 am (UTC)
OT: I had forgotten there were so many countries that didn't show up to Moscow in 1980. Of course I only remember U.S., being the Ameri-centric I am was.

empath_eia 17th-Oct-2009 08:20 am (UTC)
I think they're lovely. :(
everythingonit 17th-Oct-2009 09:31 am (UTC)
I don't care if their from Natives. Natives are perfectly capable of making things that aren't ugly. Wtf.
baked_goldfish 17th-Oct-2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
Maybe this is the Natives trolling the shit out of the games.
bludstone 17th-Oct-2009 10:31 am (UTC)
-post about the amount of corruption in the Olympic committee.-
jaded110 17th-Oct-2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
-reply about how little I care.-
shirozora 17th-Oct-2009 10:35 am (UTC)
I like them. Fucking gorgeous. But that's just the artist in me, not the casual onlooker who would like to know where the hell that medal came from and what it's for.
eyetosky 17th-Oct-2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
Same on all counts.
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