Olympic Medal Design Timeline

Medals have been presented to event winners and runners-up since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. For each host city, different medals are minted and the designs and sizes have changed through time.

Olympic London 2012: The biggest Summer Olympics medals to date. Artist David Watkins says the key symbols on front and back juxtapose the goddess Nike, for the spirit and tradition of the Games, and the River Thames, for the city of London. On the back of the medals is the 2012 branding, representing the modern city as a jewel-like, geological growth. The logo is shown against a 'pick-up-sticks' grid which radiates the energy of athletes and a sense of pulling together. The River Thames runs through the middle as a celebratory ribbon. The bowl-like background recalls ancient amphitheatres, with a square balancing the circle to give a sense of place. The sport and discipline is engraved on the rim of each medal, all of which will be produced by the Royal Mint at Llantrisant, South Wales.

Athens 1896
Medal Design Olympic Athens 1896

Paris 1900
Medal Design Olympic Paris 1900

Saint Louis 1904
Medal Design Olympic Saint Louis 1904

London 1908
Medal Design Olympic London 1908

Stockholm 1912
Medal Design Olympic Stockholm 1912

Antwerp 1920
Medal Design Olympic Antwerp 1920

Paris 1924
Medal Design Olympic Paris 1924

Amsterdam 1928
Medal Design Olympic Amsterdam 1928

Los Angeles 1932
Medal Design Olympic Los Angeles 1932

Berlin 1936
Medal Design Olympic Berlin 1936

London 1948
Medal Design Olympic London 1948

Helsinki 1952
Medal Design Olympic Helsinki 1952

Melbourne 1956
Medal Design Olympic Melbourne 1956

Rome 1960
Medal Design Olympic Rome 1960

Tokyo 1964
Medal Design Olympic Tokyo 1964

Mexico 1968
Medal Design Olympic Mexico 1968

Munich 1972
Medal Design Olympic Munich 1972

Montreal 1976
Medal Design Olympic Montreal 1976

Moscow 1980
Medal Design Olympic Moscow 1980

Los Angeles 1984
Medal Design Olympic Los Angeles 1984

Seoul 1988
Medal Design Olympic Seoul 1988

Barcelona 1992
Medal Design Olympic Barcelona 1992

Atlanta 1996
Medal Design Olympic Atlanta 1996

Sydney 2000
Medal Design Olympic Sydney 2000

Athens 2004
Medal Design Olympic Athens 2004

Beijing 2008
Medal Design Olympic Beijing 2008

London 2012
Medal Design Olympic London 2012

Image: BBC.co.uk

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