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MINT CONDITION: The 2012 medals

TO MARK one year to go to the London 2012 Games, the London 2012 Olympic medals have been unveiled.

The Olympic medals, which are presented in recognition of the incredible achievement of outstanding athletes, will be made in Britain and have been designed by British artist David Watkins who is an established artist in the field of decorative art.

Artists were invited to tender by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), having been chosen by arts bodies from across the UK and a panel made up of experienced creative leaders in their field and sports representatives.

When creating this brief LOCOG’s Victory Ceremonies team worked closely with the British Museum’s Keeper of Coins and Medals, Philip Attwood, to look at the symbolic history of medals in Europe in the last century and in particular medals that held stories that travelled symbolically from the front of the medal to the back.

It was in Europe that the first medals were made in the fifteenth century and text and images were carefully integrated on both sides.

The LOCOG Athletes’ Committee, chaired by Jonathan Edwards, were heavily involved in the research development of the medal brief and consulted throughout the selection process.

From this first stage, six artists were selected for the second stage of design and development and asked to develop their designs to create a narrative that went from front to back.

From this the panel felt that David Watkins’ design for the London 2012 Olympic medals held a narrative that befitted the athletes achievements with its jewel like depiction of the logo clearly defining the arrival of sport and the Games in London.

Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair, said: “I hope that seeing the design of the London 2012 Olympic medals athletes would be proud to own.’” for the thousands of athletes around the world who are counting down the year before they compete at the greatest show on earth.

“All of our preparations are focused on ensuring the athletes are at the heart of the Games, and I believe that through this rigorous process the panel of experts have selected an artist and a design for medals that all athletes would be proud to own.’”

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