Did you know the gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals - the ultimate athletic bling - being given out in Vancouver were recycled from electronic waste? I didn't until Crankypants a.k.a. as Carol dropped me a note in my homepage chatbox. Thanks for the nudge!

2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Medals Unveiled in Vancouver

It is an Olympic first. The metals came from the circuit boards of old computers. They were melted down by the Canadian mining company Teck Resources and cast into distinctive medal designs. It is an apt gesture as electronic waste is a growing problem (for example : 11,000 computers are dumped everyday in the US alone) and resource mining has adversely impacted our environment.

The medal designs are also unique as they are wavy and no two are alike. That's because the designers created a large motif from which sections were taken for each medal. What a fitting tribute to deserving athletes who each have a different story to tell of their journey to the podium. The inspirations for the design comes from the orca or killer whale (Olympics) and the raven (ParaOlympics). The choice of animal designs is significant. These animals are individuals and yet are part of larger groups - just like the athletes who compete as themselves but come from supportive families and represent their communities and countries.

The designers are shown above - Corinne Hunt, a First Nations artist from the Raven Gwa’waina clan on Vancouver Island and Omer Arbel , an architect and industrial designer. Check out the video about the design process.

Missed the other Olympic related post? You got to read about inukshuk inspired jewelry.


For more tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips

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