Everything You Need to Know About the Beijing 2022 Olympic Medals
This year's Olympic medals are made up of five rings and are called "Tong Xin," or "together as one."
This year, from February 4 to February 20, the Winter Olympics will take place in Beijing with athletes from around the world descending upon the city to go for the gold, silver, and bronze.
But did you know that the medals change with every Olympics? And that each have special designs that represent that years's host country or theme?
This year, the medals are named "Tong Xin," which translates to "together as one." They're each made up of five rings and a center. The design, according to Olympics.com, is based on Chinese ancient jade concentric circle pendants. Having five circles is intended to represent the Olympic spirit of unity and the excitement the Games bring.
If you're looking for fun little tidbits to share during small talk, or at viewing parties, we've got you covered. Here's everything you need to know about Olympic medals and even a few things you didn't.
What do this year's Olympic medals look like?
This year's medals are meant to mesh with the principles of a "streamlined, safe, and splendid" Olympic Games. The shape of each medal mimics that of the Summer Games 2008 medals, which took place in Beijing as well, and is meant to showcase the Chinese capital as a "Dual Olympic City" since, after this year, it will have hosted both Summer and Winter Games.
Each medal features engravings of the five Olympic rings as well as the words
"XXIV Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022," and is surrounded by designs of ice, snow, and cloud patterns.
What are the Olympic medals made of?
Olympic medals haven't been made of solid gold since 1912, when the Games took place in Stockholm. That said, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) does have strict standards for each medal's metal content. Gold medals, for one, must be made with at least 6 grams of pure gold, while silver medals have to be roughly 92.5% silver. Bronze medals are made with red brass, which means they're 95% copper and 5% zinc.
Who designs the Olympic medals?
For the Tokyo Olympics, the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games launched a medal design competition. The public was invited to submit designs. More than 400 submissions were received.
The Beijing 2022 Olympic medals were unveiled in October. Per a Chinese news outlet, the medals were designed by Hang Hai, who was part of the team of designers in 2008 as well.
Regardless of year, location, or designer, however, the IOC requires that every medal includes the following three things:
1. Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, standing outside the Panathinaikos Stadium
2. The name of the games and the year (this year it's XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020)
3. The five-ring Olympic symbol
How much does an Olympic gold medal weigh?
- Gold: Roughly 556 grams.
- Silver: About 550 grams.
- Bronze: Close to 450 grams.
How much are Olympic gold medals worth?
While you might think Olympic gold medals are worth a pretty penny, you'd be wrong. The value of an Olympic gold medal depends largely on how much gold it contains and how much gold is worth at that time. It's unclear exactly how much gold is in this year's medal, but if it contains the 6-gram minimum it would be worth around $354, according to a precious metals conversion site. In 2018, Winter Olympic gold medals were valued at about $577.
Sometimes athletes sell their medals. How much these are worth depends on the athlete and other more sentimental considerations, as well as which Games they're from: Winter Olympics medals tend to be worth more than those from Summer Games because there are fewer games in the Winter Olympics, making the medals rarer and thus more valuable.
A Jesse Owens medal from the 1936 Olympics sold for $1.47 million dollars in 2013.
Do Olympic medalists get paid?
Olympians make most of their money through their endorsements, so how much they make depends on the athlete and their brand deals. When Team USA competed in the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018 they were the highest-paid in history.
That year, US gold medalists received $37,000, silver medal winners got $22,500, and bronze medalists took home $15,000 from the US Olympic Committee. Those Olympics also marked the first in which US athletes didn't have to pay a "victory tax" on the money they won.