Of Silver and Gold (and Bronze); Recycled Olympic medals

Well the Vancouver 2010 Olympics have ended and what was billed as the “greenest” Olympics yet are considered a success, both overall and for Canada, as the host country claimed it’s fair share (well, more than it’s fair share) of recycled gold medals (more on that in a second). Though Canada’s total medal count was 26, for a 3rd place overall finish, Canada won 14 gold medals, the most any country has ever won in the Winter Olympics.

OK, back to the medals. This year’s edition is particularly stunning and beautiful enough to be worn as jewelry, if it wasn’t for the ribbon, which I think definitely takes away from their beauty. All right, and maybe they’re also a little big for jewelry. But you would think at the very least they would match the ribbon to the color of the medal, (though I personally would like to see something other than a ribbon).

The medals are the first Olympic medals to include a recycled component in the form of recycled circuit boards, which would have otherwise ended up in Canadian landfills.

The design includes a ripple or wave effect in the metal, which is intended to represents the oceans and hills of BC. The medals have been laser etched with First Nations art designed by Corrine Hunt and Omer Arbel, but each one is also unique as the design on each medal represents a different portion of a larger piece of art of an Orca whale.

Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC described the medals as “unforgettable” and “stunning” when he first saw them and I couldn’t agree more.

As for the controversy over the environmental effects of having to truck snow to some of the venues, well organizers say the carbon emissions for this type of measure account for less than 1% of total emissions. They plan to use carbon offsets to make up for any additional emissions that weren’t accounted for in their original plans.

Congratulations to Team Canada and all of the athletes who took part in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. Wear those medals with pride!!
See here for information on the final standings.