Designed especially for each Games, the medals are what every athlete strives to win.
The medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games will be awarded during the Victory Ceremonies taking places at venues across the UK.
More than 2,100 medals will be presented in 503 Victory Ceremonies.
The Paralympic Games medals have been designed by Lin Cheung, a practising jewellery artist and senior lecturer in Jewellery, and are in production at the Royal Mint headquarters in Llantrisant, South Wales.
The story behind the medal
Inspired by the endurance, focus and achievement of elite Paralympic athletes, Lin Cheung has created a medal that not only represents the core values, beliefs and spirit of the Games, but that is also a desirable object, rich in elements of illustration, typography and texture.
One side of the medal represents ‘Spirit in motion’, the Paralympic motto, and features a close-up section of an outstretched wing of the Greek Goddess of Victory. This image represents forward flight, power and lightness, a metaphor for the spirit of the Paralympic Games.
The reverse of the medal represents ‘The heart of victory’. Symbolising inclusion and togetherness, it incorporates a direct mould from the heart area of the plaster cast of ‘The Nike of Paionios’, the Greek Goddess of Victory, residing in the British Museum Cast Collection.
• The gold medal is made up of 92.5% silver, 1.34% gold with the remainder copper (a minimum of 6g of gold)
• The silver medal is made up of 92.5% silver with the remainder copper
• The bronze medal is made up of 97% copper, 2.5% zinc and 0.5% tin
The precious ore for the medals has been supplied by London 2012 sponsor Rio Tinto and was mined at Kennecott Utah Copper Mine near Salt Lake City in America, as well as from the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia. For the small amount of non-precious elements that make up the bronze medals, the zinc was sourced from a mine in Australia as well as from recycled stock, while the tin originates from a mine in Cornwall.
How the designs were chosen
When creating the brief, the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) Victory Ceremonies team worked closely with the British Museum’s Keeper of Coins and Medals, Philip Attwood, to look at the symbolic history of medals in Europe in the last century.
An independent panel of Sir John Sorrel (chair), Sir Mark Jones, Catherine Johnson, Ade Adepitan (deputy chair), Iwona Blazwick OBE, Niccy Hallifax and Martin Green was set up to look at the designs submitted by over 100 artists. The LOCOG Athletes’ Committee, chaired by Jonathan Edwards, and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) were also involved throughout the process.