Vancouver unveils untraditional medals for 2010 Winter Olympics3:03 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.