Talking points: Olympic and Paralympic Medals

A collection of imagery and sources designed to explore Olympic and Paralympic Medals.

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Olympic and Paralympic Medal Design

“The gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to competitors at the Olympics and Paralympics represent the highest levels of athletic achievement at the Games. The design of the medals is the responsibility of the host city’s organizing committee, and varies with each edition of the Games.” –

Explore the videos and resources below to focus a discussion about medal design. 

See medals and other artefacts from past Paralympic games in 3D here.

Paris 2024

“On each medal, original iron from the Eiffel Tower was cut into a hexagon, the geometric shape that evokes France to the point of becoming its nickname. Placed in the centre and embossed with the emblem of the Paris 2024 Games, this piece of heritage fits elegantly among the gold, silver and bronze to give the medals a two-tone effect. ” Find out more at

Questions to Ask Children

What can you see?

What does the medal represent?

Do you like the medal design? Why?

Is there a significant object in your life you might incorporate into a medal? Why?

Rio 2016 Paralympic Medals

The medals for the Paralympic games in 2016 had a distinct rattling noise so that visually impaired athletes could distinguish between the gold, silver and bronze medals.

Questions to Ask Children

How else might you make a medal accessible for those with visual impairments? 

Vancouver 2010

Choose clips from this video to show as not all of it may be accessible for younger pupils.

Questions to Ask Children

Does this medal challenge your existing ideas of what a medal looks like? Why?

What can you identify on the medal? 

Olympic and Paralympic Medals

Find images and information about past Olympic and Paralympic medals here.

Questions to Ask Children

Which is your favourite medal and why?

Can you find out how the images on the medals are designed to represent the country? eg. geographical landscape, historic moment etc

How Are Olympic Medals Made?

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