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Published: July 28, 2011



LONDON - Bigger, wider, heavier _ that could be the motto for the medals at the 2012 London Olympics.

Heavy metal: London 2012 medals are largest yet
Britain's Princess Anne and Sebastian Coe, the Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee, hold the newly designed medals for the London 2012 Olympic Games, at an Olympic event in Trafalgar Square in central London July 27, 2011. [Photo/Agencies] 


Measuring 85 millimeters (3.35 inches) in diameter and weighing 375-400 grams (13-14 ounces), London's medals will be the largest ever awarded at a Summer Games.

They dwarf the 70 millimeter (2.76 inch) medals handed out in Beijing four years ago, but don't quite outsize the prizes given at the Vancouver Winter Games last year: those medals were 100 millimeters (3.94 inches) wide.

The London medals were presented by Princess Anne at a ceremony at London's Trafalgar Square on Wednesday to mark a year to go until the 2012 Olympics open.

As is traditional, the front of the medals features Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. She is shown stepping out of the Parthenon and arriving in the host city.

On the back is a complex image containing five symbolic elements, including an interpretation of the London 2012 logo and the River Thames. A distinctive grid represents radiating energy, while the background is concave to suggest an amphitheater.

The medals were designed by British artist David Watkins, whose idea was picked from an initial list of more than 100 that was then whittled down to six.

"It is exciting to think that the finest athletes in the world will be wearing my medal design next summer," Watkins said.

A total of 2,100 medals will be handed out at the London Games in 302 ceremonies. The ore for the medals will be mined at two sites, one near Salt Lake City and the other in Mongolia.

"It is the pinnacle of a sporting career to become an Olympic champion but I am confident that receiving one of these medals will make it all the more special in London next year," IOC President Jacques Rogge said.


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