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Jaunted Winter Olympics Embed: What It's Like Touching Gold

February 15, 2010 at 2:25 PM | by | ()

The 2010 Winter Olympics are finally here and the Jaunted Embeds are on the scene. All throughout the games we are going to be providing you first-hand observations and tips from a Vancouver local. Tuija Seipell is a Vancouver-based writer and a dual citizen of both Finland and Canada--so she is bound to get a medal or two right? You can follow her on Twitter here, or just follow the Vancouver 2010 Olympics tag.

I am already exhausted and the Olympics have only begun! There is so much free stuff to see and do that you can easily keep busy for days just enjoying them.

I chased the torch on opening day, starting at 6:30 a.m. in the pitch-dark Stanley Park where it ran along my regular morning running path. Later on, I joined the thousands who cheered on Dal Richards, the legendary 92-year-old local bandleader, as he brought the torch to Robson Square.

In the evening, only two hours before the Opening Ceremonies, I watched the unwrapping of the cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza by the Convention Centre. It looked like they would not get it ready, but they did! (Ed. Note: This is not the same torch that had the unfortunate hydraulics incident during the Opening Ceremony.)

On Saturday, I went to check out the Olympic medals. The line-up for the Royal Canadian Mint at 500 Granville Street (open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.) was about one and a half hours, but it was worth it. And, as we stood in line, Vice President Biden’s massive motorcade drove right past us. (Another Ed. Note: The motorcade later got in an accident.)

At the Mint, you receive a special white keepsake glove with the words “I touched the Gold Medal,” and you must wear it to touch them. The medals are beautiful. Each medal weighs about half-a-kilo, that’s about 1.10 lb of jewelry-quality Sterling silver coated with gold for the gold medal!

Personally, I love the undulating profile that depicts the mountains. It was created by Vancouver-based industrial designer and architect, Omer Arbel. It is particularly fitting for the Olympics that every medal is unique yet you need all 654 medals to re-create the initial work of art, The Orca, by Vancouver artist, Corinne Hunt.

I spoke with Stephen Bodor, the engineer who designed the process of getting the artist’s one-dimensional images onto the undulating medals. After two days of talking to hundreds of people, he was still really enthusiastic and said he is extremely proud of his part in creating the medals.

Insider Tip: If you are still looking for Olympics tickets, here’s the link to the Fan-to-Fan site where it is safe to buy because it is controlled by VANOC, the organizing committee.

Related Stories:
· Olympics Observations by Tuija Seipell [Jaunted]

[Photos: Ted Topping]

Archived Comments:

That is awesome

I didn't know you could visit the medals. And I love the artwork, but when did they decide to get all crinkly?

Olympic medals

Here's an article on how the medals got "all crinkly": http://tinyurl.com/yd9k9nq Also more medal design/process info and video here: http://tinyurl.com/yeo5pjh. The line-up to see the medals was HUGE this morning before the Mint even opened (at 10 am), probably at least two hours' wait.


I think the medals are beautiful much nicer then the old flat ones