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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

TURIN, Italy., Some folks think it looks like a doughnut. Others see a bagel. Or a giant Life Saver, or a CD.

An Austrian Olympian used it as an eye patch. Whatever the view, it really is an Olympic medal.

Designed by Italians who thought long and hard about the best way to symbolize their country, the Turin medals ae very different from any predessor, and for the first time in Winter Games history, the gold, silver and bronze all have a hole in themiddle.

Designer Dario Quatrini sayas the hole represents the open space of an Italian piazza, or city sqaure. Except the medal isn't square at all -- it's round. And when worn, Quatrini has explained, it has yet another meaning.

"Circling and revelaing the area near the heart and focusing attention on the athlete's vital energy and human emotions", says Turin Olympic Committee.

The Winter Games, unlike the Summer Olympics, allows organziers great freedom in designing the shape and size and content of medals.

At 1994 Lillehammer Games in Norway, for instance, themedals contained sparagamaite, a stone extracted from the ski jump site. At Nagano in 1998, Japanese organizers used lacquer.

In 2003, at Salt Lake City, themedals were'nt round at all, but rather had uneven edges that were supposed to look like river rocks found in Utah streams and rivers.

Jennifer Heil of Canada wong a gold medal in women's mogul on the opening day of competition. She likes her medal just fine.

"I just wanted it to be heavy, because I knew there was, like, a big hole in it, and I was'nt disappointed", she said, "It hink it's trully cool".

(Abstracted from REDEYE/Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:48 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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