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Canadian Mint produces Winter Games medals

Athlete medals for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games have been produced thanks to a collaborative effort from the Royal Canadian Mint, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Games and metal supplier Teck Resources Limited.

Thirty-four RCM engineers, engravers, die technicians, machinists and production experts combined forces to create what the mint calls “an unforgettable series” of athlete medals.

The undulating face of the medals, meant to evoke the sea and mountains of the Vancouver-Whistler landscape, is the boldest evidence of the ground-breaking creative and technical aspects of the medals. They establish several milestones:

• at 500 to 576 grams each, the medals are among the heaviest in Games history;
• with totally unique designs, no two medals are alike; and
• laser etching was used to flawlessly reproduce the unique, West Coast First Nations designs on the surfaces.

From its Ottawa facility, the Royal Canadian Mint produced all 615 gold, silver and bronze medals for Olympic Winter Games athletes, as well as the 399 athlete medals for Paralympic Winter Games competition. It took one year of planning, innovation and prototype development to bring the design to life and proceed with the production phase. Thirty steps, representing 2,817 hours (402 days) of precision manufacturing, were taken to produce the medals.

Teck Resources, a Vancouver-based diversified metals company, supplied the metals used in the medals’ production.

“Our employees worldwide are honored to supply the metals for the medals that will be cherished by the world’s best winter athletes in 2010,” said Don Lindsay, Teck president and CEO. “We’re also excited that these medals will contain recycled metal recovered from end-of-life electronics, consistent with the sustainability philosophy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

More information about the company can be found at www.teck.com.

The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler Feb. 12-28, and the Paralympic Games will take place March 12-21. For more on the Games and its medals, visit www.vancouver2010.com.

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