Medals of honour

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A different take from this medal collector …

2010 medals

Vancouver’s unusual Olympic medals carry on a recent trend of designs that reflect the character of the host country.

“This medal is going to stand out as one of the most impressive ones,” said Jim Greensfelder, a collector who wrote a reference guide to Olympic medals.

Mr. Greensfelder, who lives in Venice, Fla., predicted that some people won’t like the Vancouver medals because of their undulating design. “But I think their uniqueness, in fact, will be a big positive as people receive them,” he said, noting that athletes commonly compete in multiple Games and enjoy winning distinctive medals.

Vancouver unveils medals … jury still out on design

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olympic medal

Organizers proudly revealed the medals today for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and the description was naturally enthusiastic:
“The medals, revealed today, each feature a different crop of larger contemporary Aboriginal artworks and are undulating rather than flat — both firsts in Games history. The dramatic form of the Vancouver 2010 medals is inspired by the ocean waves, drifting snow and mountainous landscape found in the Games region and throughout Canada. The Olympic medals are circular in shape, while the Paralympic medals are a superellipse, or squared circle.”

A couple of random thoughts. Whenever you can get the word undulating in a release, it’s impressive. Let’s put it this way … that word doesn’t make its way into NBA copy very often. And if it did, a phone call from an editor would probably follow.

After a morning of looking at images of the medals, and two cups of coffee later, I am still not sure whether I like the look. But the viewpoint of a junior high art-class laggard hardly matters and, quite frankly, no athlete is going to quibble with the quality of appearance of a gold medal.

Colleague Ron Judd, columnist at the Seattle Times, summed it up quite nicely on his Twitter feed this morning: “Vancouver 2010 medals display traditional native 45-RPM-record-left-on-dashboard-in-sun design.”

He probably got all A’s in art class.

— Lisa Dillman

LA Times

Canadian men’s 8 wins silver at rowing worlds

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Photo courtesy of Jackie Skender, Rowing Canada
Photo courtesy of Jackie Skender, Rowing Canada

CBC Sports

Canada’s men’s eight won silver on the final day of competition at the world rowing championships in Poland on Sunday, as two other boats just missed the podium.

The men’s eight finished in a time of five minutes 27.15 seconds, well back of the German boat that won with a time of 5:24.13. The Netherlands took bronze (5:28.32).

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Gary Reed: “you’ve got to fight like hell …”

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This feature was made just prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

After winning Silver in the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Reed found himself just out of the medals last summer in Beijing. Despite missing the podium he considers his results to be a major success. So he should. A second and a fourth in successive years among the world’s 800m elite? That’s better than any other middle distance runner in Canadian track history.

Reed: “Finishing fourth at the Olympics is better than finishing 10th, and 10th is better than finishing 20th and so on. Obviously, you want to win a medal. But do I feel better coming fourth at the Olympics as opposed to ’04, when I came 17th? Yeah, I do. It’s a great accomplishment.”