Vancouver 2010 Medals

(VANOC photo)

Over 30 steps, representing 2,817 hours (402 days) of precision manufacturing are required to produce the medals of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The circular medals have an undulating surface inspired by ocean waves, drifting snow and the mountainous landscapes found in the Games region and across Canada and the graphics are based on a large master artwork of an orca whale by Corrine Hunt, a Canadian designer/artist of Komoyue and Tlingit heritage.

Fabricated out of recycled metals form electronics waste, each of the medals has a unique hand-cropped section of the abstract art, making every medal one-of-a-kind. Some of the processes include:

  • computer-sculpting and milling 12 undulated dies for striking medals into their unconventional shape
  • casting, milling and rolling bars to cut blanks of a precise width and thickness
  • triple striking each blank three separate times, with polishing and annealing
  • laser etching an individual design and text on 1014 different medals
  • cladding each medal in a transparent protective coating to prevent premature wear and tarnishing

Thirty-four Canadian Mint engineers, engravers, die technicians, machinists and production experts collaborated with the designers and artists to create a truly unique series of athlete medals for these games. Take a look at the videos and interactive tours at the Vancouver 2010 web site.

{NEW: See a video on Dell’s]


3 Responses to “Vancouver 2010 Medals”

  1. 1 Vince February 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Hey Warren,

    Glad to see the blog is still going – do a search on the Vancouver Olympic Torches as well. They were designed and manufactured by Bombardier. (big change I suppose from their regular duties of designing Jets and Trains)



  2. 3 Warren Ginn February 15, 2010 at 9:58 am

    For more details on the design process the went into the medals, check out this article at Design Boom:


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