Tourist information guide on Athens Greece

Olympic Winter Games Medals


Olympic Winter Games


1924 Chamonix medal obverse
1924 Chamonix medal reverse
1924 Chamonix

On the obverse, a winter sports athlete, arms open, is holding a pair of skates in his right hand and in his left a pair of skis. In the background, the Alps with the Mont Blanc. On the reverse, a 14-line long inscription. "CHAMONIX MONT-BLANC SPORTS D'HIVER 25 JANVIER - 5 FEVRIER 1924 ORGANISES PAR LE COMITE OLYMPIQUE FRANCAIS SOUS LE HAUT PATRONAGE DU COMITE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIQUE A L'OCCASION DE LA CELEBRATION DE LA VIIIe OLYMPIADE". [Chamonix Mont-Blanc Winter Sports 25 January-5 February 1924, organized by the French Olympic Committee under the high patronage of the International Olympic Committee on the occasion of the celebration of the VIII Olympiad]. As was the case with the medal for the Paris Games, the design of the Chamonix medal was also put out to tender. It was the engraver Raoul B?nard who was finally chosen. There were 2.000 copies made in the workshops of the Paris mint.
1928 St. Moritz medal obverse
1928 St. Moritz medal reverse
1928 St. Moritz

On the obverse, a skater with her arms spread out, surrounded by snow crystals. The medals were made by Huguenin Freres, Le Locle. The reverse has the Olympic rings at the top with the inscription " II. JEUX OLYMPIQUES D'HIVER ST.-MORITZ 1928" underneath. On each side there is an olive branch.
1932 Lake Placid medal obverse
1932 Lake Placid reverse
1932 Lake Placid

Placid On the obverse, in the top half, a winged goddess above the clouds holding a laurel crown in her right hand. In the background, the Adirondack mountains with, at their feet, a winter sports stadium, ski jump and the Lake Placid landscape. The curved shape of the medal symbolizes the ridges of ancient columns. On the reverse, in the top half the Olympic rings, under which a laurel crown. In the middle, the inscription " III OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES LAKE PLACID 1932".
1936 Garmish-Partenkirchen medal obverse
1936 Garmish-Partenkirchen medal reverse
1936 Garmish-Partenkirchen

On the obverse, in the upper half, an ancient chariot pulled by three horses, driving on a triumphal arch composed of four rays. The Goddess of Victory sits on the chariot holding a laurel crown. In the bottom half, in front of a picture, an illustration of winter sports equipment with some examples. Around, there is the inscription “GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN”.
On the reverse, which is deliberately simple, the Olympic rings and the inscription “IV OLYMPISCHE WINTERSPIELE 1936”.
1948 St. Moritz medal obverse
1948 St. Moritz reverse
1948 St. Moritz

On the obverse, in between two snow crystals, the inscription "Vmes JEUX OLYMPIQUES D'HIVER ST.-MORITZ 1948". On the reverse, a hand holding a lit torch with the Olympic Rings in the background. Six snow crystals decorate the empty space right and left. At the top, curving round, the motto "Citius, Altius, Fortius". The medals were made by Huguenin Freres from Le Locle.
1952 Oslo medal obverse
1952 Oslo reverse
1952 Oslo

On the obverse, the Olympic rings with a superimposed torch, a composition based on the design by the Greek artist Vasos Falireas approved by the International Olympic Committee. In the background "Olympia" in Greek. Around the design, the Olympic motto "Citius Altius Fortius" and the inscription "Olympic Games", only in French. The reverse, designed by Knut Yran, included the inscription "De VI Olympiske Vinterleker Oslo 1952". complemented by the pictogram of the Oslo Town Hall and three snowflakes.
1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo obverse
1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo reverse
1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo

On the obverse, the head of an idealized woman, crowned with the five rings. The Olympic flame appears in the foreground. The inscription "VII GIOCHI OLIMPICI INVERNALI" surrounds the scene. On the reverse, Mount Pomagagnon, one of the principal symbols of these Games, topped by a snow crystal. The inscription around reads: "CITIUS ALTIUS FORTIUS - CORTINA 1956".
1960 Squaw Valley obverse
1960 Squaw Valley reverse
1960 Squaw Valley

On the obverse and surrounded by the inscription "VIII OLYMPIC-WINTER GAMES", the profile of a young woman and, in the background, that of a young man, symbolizing the youth of America and the world. The reverse remained sober with the Olympic rings and with the motto "CITIUS-ALTIUS-FORTIUS" surrounding the top half. The space in the middle of the bottom half was reserved for the name of the sport in accordance with the new rule of the Olympic Charter. A total of 60 gold, silver and bronze medals were made.
1964 Innsbruck obverse
1964 Innsbruck medal reverse
1964 Innsbruck

The medal was created by the Viennese artist Martha Coufal. On the obverse, an imposing Alpine scene with the inscription "INNSBRUCK 1964" going round it. For the first time, the name of the discipline appeared on the medal at the foot of the mountain. On the reverse, the official emblem with the coat of arms of the City of Innsbruck linked with the Olympic rings and with the inscription "IX - OLYMPISCHE WINTERSPIELE" going round it. The medals were made at the Austrian mint in Vienna. A total of 61 copies in gold, silver and bronze were made.
1968 Grenoble medal obverse
1968 Grenoble medal reverse
1968 Grenoble

On the obverse, the official emblem designed by Roger Excoffon. On the reverse, the pictogram of the relevant discipline, also designed by Roger Excoffon. The process used was a photographic transfer onto acid-impregnated steel. The engraving and finishing work was done by the Coins and Medals Administration in Paris. For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, a medal was made for each discipline. In accordance with article 43 of the Olympic regulations, the first and second place medals were made of 925/000 standard silver. The winners’ medal was covered with six grams of pure gold.
1972 Sapporo medal obverse
1972 Sapporo medal reverse
1972 Sapporo

On the obverse, some lines cast slightly in relief represent the soft, feathery snow as well as the sharp, pointed ice- evocative of a typical Japanese scene of peace and serenity. The obverse was designed by Kazumi Yagi. On the reverse side, there is the inscription "XI Olympic Winter Games, Sapporo'72" in English and Japanese and the official emblem of the Games. The reverse was designed by Ikko Tanaka. The medals were made at the Mint Bureau of the Finance Ministry. 267 medals in total, per category 89, including a number of spare ones.
1976 Innsbruck medal obverse
1976 Innsbruck medal reverse
1976 Innsbruck

As was the case for the 1964 Innsbruck Games, the winners’ medal was created by the Viennese artist Martha Coufal-Hartl. The medals were produced by the Austrian mint in Vienna. The obverse depicts the emblem of the Games (the same as the 1964 Games), comprising the Olympic rings and the coat of arms of the city showing the bridge on the Inn which gives the city of Innsbruck its name. For centuries, this bridge has been the link between the old town and the Hotting district. It symbolizes friendship and the people of the world coming together.
1980 Lake Placid medal obverse
1980 Lake Placid medal reverse
1980 Lake Placid

On the obverse, a hand holds the Olympic torch against a mountain background together with the Olympic rings and the text "XIII Olympic Winter Games". On the reverse, a pine branch with cones, the official emblem and the inscription "Lake Placid 1980".
1984 Sarajevo medal obverse
1984 Sarajevo medal reverse
1984 Sarajevo

On the obverse, the official emblem, a stylized snowflake with the Olympic rings above and the words "XIV Zimske Olimpijske Igre - Sarajevo 1984".
On the reverse, the stylized head of an athlete crowned with a laurel wreath. In all, 285 medals were struck at the Majdanpek mint in Belgrade and 222 were awarded.
1988 Calgary medal obverse
1988 Calgary reverse
1988 Calgary

On the obverse, the official emblem and the words “XVes Jeux Olympiques d’hiver, XV Olympic Winter Games, Calgary 1988”. On the reverse, the profile of an athlete crowned with an olive wreath and an Indian with a headdress composed of ski sticks, a bob, skis, skate blades, a stick, a luge and a rifle.
1992 Albertville medal obverse
1992 Albertville medal reverse
1992 Albertville

Created for the first time in glass, set with gold, silver and bronze, the medals were entirely hand-made. Detailed and precise work required several different stages of production. The production of a medal required the contribution of 35 people and took several hundred hours for Lalique’s to create the 330 medals. On the obverse, the five Olympic rings can be seen in the foreground, with a valley in the background, in gradation, thus giving the impression of perspective. On the upper part of the medal is an intagliated stylized laurel branch featuring the words: "XVI Olympic Winter Games" (in French and English). On the reverse of the medal, decorative motif and the five rings are intagliated in the colorless glass. The lines symbolize the mountains.
1994 Lillehamer medal obverse
1994 Lillehamer reverse
1994 Lillehamer

Ingjerd Hanevold, who created the medals, says she designed them to be "humorous, sober and recognizable" and that their design "is Norwegian through and through". Her innovative surprise was to use granite, sparagmite to be precise, as the basic material. "I tried to create something that reflects what Norwegians like and appreciate, i.e. nature. There is plenty of granite in our country and it is beautiful in its simplicity. I think that, thanks to the other components (gold, silver and bronze), the medals are very stylish."
1998 Nagano obverse
1998 Nagano medal reverse
1998 Nagano

To convey local characteristics, the medals were created in lacquer (Kiso lacquer). The decoration technique adopted was embossed gilding (or Maki-e) with so-called shippoyaki (i.e. cloisonne techniques) and precision metalwork. The obverse represents the rising sun in Maki-e, surrounded by olive branches and accompanied by the emblem in cloisonne. The reverse is mainly in lacquer. It represents the emblem of the Games in Maki-e, with the sun rising over the Shinshu mountains. The lacquered parts were done individually by artists from the Kiso region. The medals had a diameter of 80mm with a thickness of 9,7mm. The gold medal weighed 256g, the silver 250g and the bronze 230g.
2002 Salt Lake City medal obverse
2002 Salt Lake City medal reverse
2002 Salt Lake City

The gold and silver medals weigh 567 gram. The bronze medals weigh 454 gram (16 ounces). For the first time in Olympic history, the medals vary for each sport, featuring 16 unique artists' renderings. On the front of the medals, an athlete bursts from flames carrying a torch representing the resilience of the human spirit and the power to inspire. The Olympic Rings anchor the image of the athlete while the 2002 Games' theme, "Light the Fire Within" is etched into the medal, marking the first time that an organizing committee's vision statement is included on a medal.

On the back of the medals, Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, holds a small victory leaf, symbolizing the olive wreaths that were presented to winners of the ancient Olympic Games. Within Nike's embrace is an illustration of the event for which each medal is being presented. Also imprinted on the back of each medal is the Salt Lake 2002 crystal emblem and the name of the event. At the base of the ribbon loop is the Roman numeral XIX, signifying the XIX Olympic Winter Games.

The medals were designed in the shape of river rocks, like those found in Utah's streams and rivers. Each medal is hand-finished and is slightly different from the other medals similar to individual rocks sculpted by water and wind.
2006 Torino medal obverse
2006 Torino medal reverse
2006 Torino

The medal concept was worked upon by Ottaviani International and the TOROC graphic team, headed by Dario Quatrini. The medal is round with an empty space at the centre, representing the Italian piazza. The medal was wrapped up in its ribbon, which, unlike in previous Games, was not sewn to its top. The front of the medal includes the graphic elements of the Games, while the back of the medal features the pictogram of the sports discipline in which the medal was won. To highlight the three-dimensional characteristics of the medal, its surface has been carefully made using full and empty spaces, with shiny and satiny textures.

Quatrini, who created the design for the medals, incorporated views, ideas and models from Italian history and its tradition of forms and manufacturing: rings, ancient coins and ornaments. The solution of the circle with the space at the centre links all the basic themes and motifs of the Turin Games and embodies the leitmotiv of Torino 2006 – the piazza. The medal is also round like the Olympic rings or a symbolic victory ring and, with its open space at its centre, it reveals the place where the heart beats, the symbol of life itself. The medal is only complete, however, when it is hanging geometrically from the athlete’s neck, lying on its chest, circling and revealing the area near its heart and focusing attention on the athlete’s vital energy and human emotions.

Also see the Olympic Summer Games medals

Credit: IOC/Olympic Museum Collections


    Olympic Summer Games Medals
  TORINO 2006
  BEIJING 2008
  LONDON 2012

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