Athens olympic medals

I remember from the winter Olympic games in Japan a story they did
on the person who made the medals for the winners. It was a real
inspiration to me. I wonder, has anyone seen a picture of the
medals that were given out at the Athens games? I wonder where they
got them made? If anyone finds a link to a picture of one, let me



Check out these sites - they have pictures of the medals as well.
If the links don’t work for you, Google "Which sculpture designed
the gold medals for Athens Olympics and it should turn up. There are
about 10 articles, but these two photographs of the medals. The
second article has small photographs of all past medals as well with
info on who designed them.,4395,266466,00.html

“The winning design for the Athens medals was submitted by
Elena Votsi, a renowned Greek artist who has designed jewelry for
Gucci and has boutiques in town and on the island of Hydra”


Hi Larry,

Sorry to be so vague, but the medals were made by the same company
in Utah who made the medals for the Salt Lake Winter Olympics. I saw
an article in one the trade magazines (maybe National Jeweler) and
there was a picture of one of the gold medals. Anyone familiar with
this company or story? Thanks,


This site
has photos of both sides and a brief description (as well as past
medals). Here is a more detailed write-up courtesy of the AP:

By BRIAN FRIEDMAN of The Associated Press
Published Sunday, August 15, 2004

ATHENS, Greece - The gold, silver and bronze medals have a new look
for the Athens Olympics - a redesign that’s unique, Greek and even a
little chic. For the face-lift, the first for the Summer Games in 76
years, organizers asked artists to submit proposals that included two
distinctly Greek elements: a depiction of Nike, the goddess of
victory, and the Panathinaikos, the horseshoe-shaped stadium in
Athens where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896. Ever since
the 1928 games in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Nike had been shown on the
medals, seated on a chariot with a wreath in one hand and an ear of
corn in the other, symbolically honoring winning athletes. Next to
the goddess was usually a stadium that looked a lot like a Roman
amphitheater - not surprising since the designer was an Italian,
Giuseppi Cassioli. The medals had changed little since, though in
recent years, the flip sides usually showed the individual logos that
were designed by the host cities. The winning design for the Athens
medals was submitted by Elena Votsi, a renowned Greek artist who has
designed jewelry for Gucci and has boutiques in town and on the
island of Hydra. Cassioli’s interpretation of the myth involving Nike
was “a mistake,” Votsi said. “According to the myth, she never sits,”
said Votsi, who has a master’s degree in metalwork and jewelry from
London’s Royal College of Art. Her design has a winged, almost
angelic Nike boldly swooshing down feet-first from the heavens,
delivering the laurel in the Panathinaikos stadium, the all-marble
venue for archery and the finish line of the marathon. Her Nike is
based on a marble statue from 421 B.C. by the sculptor Paionios of
Chalkidiki. In the background of the medal is the Acropolis; above
Nike’s head are the Olympic rings and the Greek words “28th Olympiad
Athens 2004.” “It had to be Greek, the front side of the medal,
because the Olympics started here, because we have to think about the
history,” Votsi said. On the medal’s flip side, there’s more Greek
and more tradition. The Olympic flame burns from a cauldron in front
of the opening line of Pindar ‘s eighth Olympic Ode in ancient Greek
writing. The translation reads: “O Mother of Gleaming Crowns of
Contest, Olympia, Queen of Truth.” "I wanted to use the Greek letters
because they gave us such ideas as ‘philosophy’ and
=E2=80=98democracy,’ " Votsi said. Above it is the Athens 2004 logo.
“It’s just a beautiful model. It’s something unique,” said Athens
organizer Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, no stranger herself to
fashionable jewelry and impeccably tailored suits. Votsi said she does
not follow sports but does draw inspiration from them and will attend
the 100- and 200-meter sprints at the main stadium. After the latter
race, she might see her artwork draped around the neck of countryman
Costas Kenderis, the defending Olympic champion. “Of course, I always
admire the work of athletes, the way they work for a few seconds, and
all that effort, all that work - fantastic!” she said. Although the
back of the medal will change at future Olympics, the International
Olympic Committee decided to keep Votsi’s design of Nike on the
front for years to come. Jim Greensfelder of Sharonville, Ohio, the
co-author of “Olympic Medals: A Reference Guide,” said he likes that
the Athens medals will have a new design. In fact, he said he favors
the styles of medals used in the Winter Games, for which there has
been no standard medal and host cities have used highly
individualistic styles with little or no images of mythology. “The
designs have been unique and have gotten more and more attractive,”
said Greensfelder, who counts among his favorites the medals from
Nagano, Japan, in 1998, which featured a hand-painted flower design,
and Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994, which had a chunk of stone mined
from the ski jump site. As the opening ceremony for the Athens games
approached, Votsi remained astonished that her designs will be
hanging around the necks of the world’s greatest athletes. “Even now
… it is difficult to imagine,” she said. “It is the biggest honor.
It is something fantastic!”

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.


In watching the coverage this year, the announcers mentioned that
the '04 medals were completely re-designed ‘by a Greek jeweller’ and
that this new design will be used at future games. You may want to
narrow your search to this artist / jeweller (sorry I don’t have a

Here’s a description of what the new medal looks like:

July 1, 2003

  For the first time in 76 years, there will be a new design on
  the Olympic medals for the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. 

  Since the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, the front side of the
  medals has featured a Roman stadium and a horse-drawn chariot
  with Nike holding a laurel wreath above her head. 

  "The stadium looked like the Colosseum in Rome and that was
  hard for Greeks to swallow," IOC sports director Gilbert Felli

  The new design features the all-marble Panathinaiko stadium,
  site of the first modern games in 1896 and venue for archery
  and the finish line of the marathon at next year's Olympics. 

  The new image of Nike is based on a marble statue by the
  sculptor Paionios of Chalkidiki, carved in 421 BC and placed in
  the Temple of Zeus in Olympia. 

  The image of Nike, with outstretched wings, gives the
  impression that she is descending from heaven to crown the
  victors with an olive wreath. 

  By tradition, the reverse side of the medals has featured
  different designs created by each host city. In this case,
  according to IOC officials, the flip side will show the Athens
  logo, the Olympic flame and ancient Greek writing. 

Taylor in Toronto

Hi Larry They designed new medals for this Olympiad. Apparently they
will continue to use this design. Here is a quote followed by a link
to the picture.

  Olympic Games in 1928. This is of particular importance, as
  from now on all Olympic medals will reflect the Greek character
  of the Games as regards both their origin and their revival. 

  On the medals awarded to Olympic athletes from 1928 until the
  Sydney Games, goddess Nike was seated, holding an ear of corn
  in one hand and a wreath in the other. Here, she flies into the
  stadium bringing victory to the best athlete. The Organising
  Committee has chosen to show the Panathenic stadium, where the
  Games were first renewed in 1896. On the obverse, the athletes
  discipline will also be engraved. 

  The reverse side of the medal is composed of three elements:
  The eternal flame that will be lit in Olympia and will travel
  through the five continents by way of the 2004 Torch Relay; the
  opening lines of Pindar's Eighth Olympic Ode composed in 460 BC
  to honour the victory of Alkimedon of Aegina in wrestling and
  the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games emblem. 

  The design of the Medal was created by Elena Votsi. The total
  number of medals to be produced is 1,130 gold, 1,130 silver,
  and 1,150 bronze.

Found another site showing the medals through history.

Karen Bahr “the Rocklady” (@Rocklady)
K.I.S. Creations
May your gems always sparkle.