Lesson #76: Olympic Medals

Yay for you! The Olympics close today and you don’t have to hear about them ever again. Yay! No more posts about curling or Nordic combined — because it will be four years before I watch those events again, super hot thirds or not. You’re screwed if you think you’re getting out of hockey posts, though. That, my friend, is out of the question.*

Anyway, since it’s all over and done with today, I thought it was time to find out what the medals are actually made of.**

I’m actually pretty surprised to learn that both the gold and silver medals are required to be sterling silver. I’d have expected them just to be plated. The gold medals are additionally required to be gilded with at least six grams of 24K gold. The last solid gold medals were awarded at the 1912 Games. Unsurprisingly, the bronze medals are made from a copper alloy. You know, the way bronze has been made since always. As far as size, even that is regulated. Olympic medals must be at least 60mm in diameter and 3mm thick. The Vancouver medals are 100mm in diameter.***

*But you’ll probably get a two month break until the playoffs start and I rediscover that I suck at watching playoff hockey. You’d be surprised how quickly I unlearn that lesson. Anyway, all of this assumes I survive tonight’s Canada/US gold medal game. There’s a good chance my heart explodes in my chest before the end of regulation.

**Two things that are apropos of nothing…1. I really like the Vancouver medals. I know there are a lot of people who hate them, but I think they’re cool. 2. I saw a picture of the women’s figure skaters at the medal ceremony from the other night and it was hilarious; the medals just look ginormous on those tiny little girls.

***More information here and here.

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