The medal designs for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Rio were recently unveiled. The medals, all 5,130 of them, were produced by the Brazilian Mint and feature the traditional laurel leaf. The reverse side of the medals displays an etching of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.
The Summer Game medals are poised to represent not only athletic excellence, but sustainability. The gold medals are free of mercury, while the second- and third-place medals are comprised of 30 percent recycled silver and bronze, respectively. The ribbons are also made from recycled materials.
Realizing that lugging around all of those medals around the neck might literally weigh heavily on some athletes, the medalists who fulfill their athletic dreams by taking their places on the Olympic podium will also receive their awards in a sustainably sourced wooden box.