Vancouver 2010 Medals Unveiled

Comments 28 by Rebecca Bollwitt

This morning the gold, bronze, and silver medals for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games were unveiled at the athlete’s village. The imagery is distinctly British Columbian with First Nations engravings along the front and back.


The symbols are based upon master works by Corrine Hunt, a Vancouver, BC-based artist of Komoyue and Tlingit heritage. The Olympic medals feature the orca while the raven graces the front of the Paralympic medals. The shape of the round Olympic and square Paralympic medals is wavey, meaning they wouldn’t sit flat.

2010medal-back 2010medal-back

Here are a few medals from past Winter Olympics to make a comparison.


At a time when the 2010 Games are being criticized for being too politically correct, I’m curious to see the public’s reaction to the medals that will hang around the necks of the world’s best this winter.

[poll id=”38″]

The following video was linked in the comments, I thought it would be worth posting here as well:

Update February 20, 2010 The medals are on display at the Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion.

IMGP4328 IMGP4330

Photo credit (3 above): themarina on Flickr

I hear the crowds are 5-6 hours long daily but many say it’s well worth the wait to hold these gems in their hands.

28 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. CarrieThursday, October 15th, 2009 — 11:56am PDT

    What does the wavey metal have to do with anything? Is it supposed to represent the ocean or something? Looks more like they were left in a hot car on a 40 degree day!

  2. MackThursday, October 15th, 2009 — 12:13pm PDT

    Yeah for me they are almost really nice.

    I like the square medals more than than the round ones.

    Both are nice I just don’t understand why they were made wavy. The wavy part sucks.

  3. TheQuackThursday, October 15th, 2009 — 12:23pm PDT

    According to ” … they have an undulating surface intended to represent the West Coast landscape of mountains and waves and drifting snow.” I think they look gorgeous.

  4. [email protected]Thursday, October 15th, 2009 — 1:36pm PDT

    I love them! Very unique and representative of our community here in the West Coast.

  5. JonThursday, October 15th, 2009 — 2:29pm PDT

    Love the wavy, totally unique idea.

  6. BuenoThursday, October 15th, 2009 — 2:42pm PDT

    I love the waves – the medals are unique and fantastic!

  7. KimmThursday, October 15th, 2009 — 3:08pm PDT

    Why can’t they have one design for the the Olympic and the Paralympic medals?

    But I do have to say they are both very unique designs.

  8. TimFriday, October 16th, 2009 — 2:38am PDT

    They are remarkable, but I agree that the Paralympic medals are the real winners here.

  9. JohnFriday, October 16th, 2009 — 7:44am PDT

    These medals are stupid. It looks like someone got some scrap metal and beat it with a hammer before they decided that athletes would want these pieces of junk. If anyone visited the athletes and saw these things in their houses they’d think it was just a piece of trash, because that’s what they are!

  10. JennyFriday, October 16th, 2009 — 11:16am PDT

    They look great. A lot nicer than some of the past ones. John, did you eat your fiber this morning? You seem pretty tense.

  11. EmmaFriday, October 16th, 2009 — 5:56pm PDT

    This video explains the medals and the story behind them. It made me like them even more.

  12. Emily WilkesFriday, October 16th, 2009 — 8:28pm PDT

    I heard that the medals will be made from melted down recycled electronics. Is this true? I’m not sure if I really like the wavy design.

  13. VinciSaturday, October 17th, 2009 — 7:30pm PDT

    Originally I thought they looked plain and stupid. It’s until I saw the video that I saw all the hidden symbolism behind it and that made me fall in love with the uniqueness of the medals.

    Overall I like it (after watching the video) but I have a few problems with it. First it seems rather plain. The details are beautiful no doubt but at first glance they look … well… weird. Also the symbolism is very community and locally based that it really moves me but we see so much of it in Vancouver that it sounds like they chose the symbols and then applied a relevant meaning to it in order to justify it’s use.

    I mean the overwhelming vibe of the Vancouver Olympics is that we’re a nice city with “glowing hearts” and we’re very localize. These are great attributes of the city but it doesn’t hurt to make some olympic videos more exciting instead of using soft and slow, heartwarming music. Albeit, being a Vancouverite, I’m at the brink of tears every time I watch videos like these but goodness, we’re not a sleepy city!

  14. TeflonjediSunday, October 18th, 2009 — 5:36am PDT

    I love ’em!

  15. natalieSunday, October 18th, 2009 — 1:36pm PDT

    I think they look beautiful…especially in comparison to the past ones. Simple, elegant, with a strong connection to B.C.

  16. Nick BergMonday, October 19th, 2009 — 11:59am PDT

    Although the video explains the thinking behind it, my initial impression and what still comes to mind when I see them is that they somehow got warped… like the first commenter said, as if they were left in a hot car.

    I think the Turin medals were an amazing design. That the shape is like an Olympic ring and the ribbons can simply be looped over them without any complex fasteners is the genius behind their simplicity.

    And what’s with the Playland Fight Night giveaway? Is this some kind of Fight Club-style deathmatch that Playland is having? [“I’m giving away a two 4 packs of tickets for Fight Nights at Playland (value $100 each pack).”]

  17. DaveThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 3:16pm PST

    I think they are awesome medals, i just don’t understnad why some are round and some are square?

  18. chrissy44Sunday, February 14th, 2010 — 9:31pm PST

    It sucks that the athletes do not receive their medals at the event they are competing in. They receive some kale and do not even get to hear their national anthem in front of all the fans. This is what the olympics are about showing your pride in the athletes that have worked so hard to get there. The only people that can see this are the people that pay for it, typical marketing olympics. Who is the ceremony event sponsored by??

  19. AnnaMonday, February 15th, 2010 — 4:45pm PST

    I love these. I’m so impressed that for once some one tried to be original. These medals have a shape! They aren’t flat! We’ve overcome the pressure of being boring. I mean look at all the past medals. It’s always the same thing over and over:
    Flat, circular with Nike waving from somewhere on the surface.

    I love the wave! And also the story behind the medals.
    The artist has taken into account the shape of the mountains and the wave of the pacific. She has also in a way connected all of the athletes. They are all part of something bigger. The idea of the ocra and its need for its pod, its community is also really cool as she translate this to the athletes and how if they were alone they too couldn’t survive, they wouldn’t be as successful without their support teams.

    In short. It’s awesome… and anyone who thinks that the wave is not. Well, you need learn to accept change. It’s original and artistic and full of symbolism. Besides the wave causes the medals to be much shinier and brighter.

    I love ’em!



  20. AnnaMonday, February 15th, 2010 — 8:03pm PST

    I’d also like to comment that the picture of the two sets of medals (Olympic and Paralympic) isn’t a really excellent comparison. The Olympic medals are great. The picture above is comparing the plain back side of the Olympic medals to to the amazing front side of the Paralympic medals.

    The Olympic medals are just as amazing. And in my opinion, possibly more amazing…

  21. Vancouver 2010 Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittWednesday, February 24th, 2010 — 11:02am PST

    […] coin displays, the “Gold Room”, and of course the most popular attraction – the Olympic and Paralympic medals which the public can […]

  22. TannaWednesday, February 24th, 2010 — 3:58pm PST

    I love the design and symbolism behind them!! They way each one is different, and only when they all come together can the whole picture be seen. To me this is perfect for our Olympics. I was a little iffy about the wavy design at first, but it really does represent the beauty of British Columbia. I also love that they used (a portion) of recycled metals in the making. Truly unique and truly Canadian!! I couldn’t be happier or more proud that they came from Canada. 🙂

  23. Sank the BankFriday, February 26th, 2010 — 5:59am PST

    are you guys nuts??
    these medals are so sick
    the wavy part is so sweet!!:)

  24. SammiSaturday, February 27th, 2010 — 9:02pm PST

    The Vancouver 2010 medals look “weird” because they’re actually a work of art, not some sterile corporate logo. I’m so glad that they have such wonderful personality! If you want to see cookie-cutter circles then go buy a box of cookies…geesh. These are medals; they need to be special! =D

  25. Theresa PoirierSunday, February 28th, 2010 — 8:35pm PST

    am fascinated by the beautiful design and shape of the medal

  26. Theresa PoirierSunday, February 28th, 2010 — 8:36pm PST

    fascinated by design and shape of medal

  27. JessieTuesday, March 2nd, 2010 — 9:31pm PST

    Hm, I think these medals are okay o_o I like the Turin ones better though, since I don’t really like the wavy part of it — to me, I think it’s a bit too wavy. If they wanted it to be wavy, a slight waviness is fine, but this much looks like it’s been dented or melted. Oh well XD

  28. heroMonday, March 8th, 2010 — 4:42pm PST

    canado should of won because they had more gold medals -_-

Also on