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Salt Lake to Sochi - The Making of Olympic Gold


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Did you know athletes who win one of the 7 gold medals on Feb. 15, 2014 will receive medals that include meteorite fragments? Discover other facts around creating Olympic gold, then and now.

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Salt Lake to Sochi - The Making of Olympic Gold

  2. As the creator of the medals for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, O.C. Tanner knows what it takes to craft the ultimate Olympic reward. Here’s a look back at what it took 12 years ago, and how Sochi medal-maker Adamas is creating the medals today.
  3. SALT LAKE 2002 An athlete emerged from a mountain of rock and ice, which represented the resilience of the human spirit. The figure also carried a torch symbolizing the 2002 Games’ theme, “Light the Fire Within.” This marked the first time an organizing committee’s visions statement was included on the medal itself. FRONT
  4. SALT LAKE 2002 Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, is depicted holding a small leaf. This symbolized the olive wreaths that were presented to winners of the ancient Olympic Games. Within Nike’s embrace, there was an illustration of the athletic event. The 2002 Games emblem and the name of the event was engraved on each medal. BACK
  5. SALT LAKE 2002 The medals were designed in the shape of river rocks, like those found in Utah's streams and rivers. Part modern and part rustic, these medals embodied the spirit of the American West from the forging of the West to the technological present. Artisans hand-finished every single medal to bring out their unique characteristics. 2000˚ 14k x2 At 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the precious metals were brought together. The metal was rolled into half-inch thick sheets, then hit twice with 14,000 pounds per square inch. After pressing the metal, the edges were removed with a water jet applying 50,000 pounds per square inch. With the gold medals, a sterling silver base was plated with six grams of 24 carat gold. It was then coated with a dark antique and then hand finished to bring out the small details resulting in a rich three dimensional field. Silver medals were oxidized into a rich charcoal color. 6 GRAMS Bronze medals were plated with the fine coating of rose gold then dipped in an antiquing solution. 20oz weight 85mm diameter .47in thickness 20hrs per medal 861 total medals presented minted by O.C. TANNER
  6. SOCHI 2014 The 2014 medals represent the landscape of Sochi. Snowy mountain tops reflect the sun’s rays onto the sandy beaches of the Black Sea coast. The mosiac “patchwork quilt” of national designs represent the various culture and ethnicities of the Russian people. FRONT
  7. SOCHI 2014 The back of the medal depicts the Sochi 2014 emblem with Olympic rings, as well as the competition name in English. BACK
  8. SOCHI 2014 Athletes who win one of the seven gold medals on February 15, 2014 will receive medals that include meteorite fragments. The date commemorates the one-year anniversary of the meteor strike in Chelyabinsk in the southern part of the country. 16oz weight 100mm diameter .4in thickness “XXII OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES ” INSCRIBED ON THE RIM IN THREE LANGUAGES: The thick plate of metal is casted through a method of semi-continuous casting. The cast metal is rolled in a multi-tone rolling mill. A combination of manual work (polishing) and ultra-modern technology is used (the "patchwork quilt" design is applied with a laser inside the transparent polycarbonate material). After the mechanical processing—turning, electro-erosion cutting, high-speed precision cutting and etching—it becomes a finished product when the edges of the medal are polished and several finishing processes take place. 18hrs per medal 1,300 total medals presented minted by ADAMAS
  10. Our commitment to supporting Olympic athletes has continued. Since 2000, we’ve been proud to celebrate athletic achievements by donating unique gold rings for every member of Team USA. Discover more at