(BEIJING, March 27) -- On the occasion of the 500-day countdown to the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games, the Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) unveiled the Games' medals.
BOCOG Executive Vice-President and chairman of the evaluation panel Jiang Xiaoyu attended the unveiling ceremony and delivered a speech at the Capital Museum on Tuesday.
The medals are designed with inspiration from "bi", China's ancient jade piece inscribed with dragon pattern. The medals, made of gold and jade, symbolize nobility and virtue and are embodiment of traditional Chinese values of ethics and honor.
The medals are 70mm in diameter and 6mm in thickness. On their obverse side, the medals adopt the standard design prescribed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) -- a drawing that represents the winged goddess of victory Nike and Panathinaikos Arena, while on their reverse side, the medals are inlaid with jade with the Beijing Games emblem engraved in the metal centerpiece.
Noble and elegant, the medals are a blending of traditional Chinese culture and the Olympism. It gives the winners of the Games great honor and acclamation as recognition of their achievement.
The IOC has strict stipulation on the Olympic medals' material, identification, weight, size and drawing. The medals for the champion and the runner-up are made of pure silver, and the champion's medal must be plated with gold weighing not less than six grams each. For the first time jade is used for the Olympic medals. The design not only meets the IOC requirements, but also expresses praise and honor that the Chinese people cherish for the Olympic Spirit and the Olympic athletes.
In his speech, Jiang Xiaoyu said the Beijing 2008 Games medals will be a major part of the Olympic legacy for China. The design of the medals is a result of hard work and enthusiasm of many people. The medals, he said, embody strong Chinese style and elegant art, and are a harmonious combination of the Chinese culture with the Olympism, making them a vehicle to spread the Olympic Spirit and the concepts of the Beijing Games, as well as to showcase Chinese culture and arts, and the high levels of design and technology.