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Bigger, thicker, heavier: the evolution of the Olympic Games medals infographic

28 July, 2012

An infographic presenting the evolution of the Olympic Games medals

Click on the image to enlarge it

As today the first Olympic medals will be awarded, “The Missing Graph” presents an infographic with the evolution of the (Summer) Olympic Games medals.

The medals become bigger, thicker and heavier! At the first modern Summer Olympic Games (Athens 1896), the medals had a 48mm diameter, a 3.8mm thickness and weighted 47g. At the London 2012 summer Olympics, the medals have an 85mm diameter (biggest ever), a 7mm thickness and weigh between 375-400g (heaviest ever).

Diameter wise the closest to the record-breaking 85mm are the 70mm medals awarded at the 1992 (Barcelona), 1996 (Atlanta) and 2008 (Beijing) Games. Interestingly, the smallest ever Olympic medals (33mm diameter) were awarded at the 1908 (London) Games.

The thickest Olympic Games medals ever were awarded at the 1992 (Barcelona) Games: 9.8mm. This time they are 7mm thick.

These Summer Olympic Games medals are the heaviest ever (375-400g) followed by the 1992 (Barcelona) Games medals (231g). The lightest ones ever were awarded at the 1904 (Saint-Louis) and 1908 (London) Games: almost 18 times lighter (21g).

If you are around London you have the opportunity to have a closer look at the medals of all the Olympic Games by visiting the exhibition “The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games” (Royal Opera House, free entry, opens today (28 July 2012) and lasts until 12 August).

There is also a display at The British Museum (free entry, open until 9 September 2012) where you can see the medals of the Olympic Games held in London (1908, 1948 & 2012).

Enjoy the Games!

IOC Olympic Summer Games Medals: from Athens 1896 to London 2012 (PDF Document)
BBC London 2012: Olympic medals timeline

Many thanks to Maria Kafantari, Adela Pickles and Dinos Konstantinou for their valuable feedback and suggestions.

If you found this post interesting, why not have a look at other related posts:
2012 London Olympic Games: Ticket Prices
A history of the Basketball World Championships (Mundobasket) [1950-2006]
World Cup 2010: Representation of the Continents
World Cup Finals 2010: the Group Stage – an infograph
The History of the Football World Cup Finals (1930-2006)
3 Comments leave one →
  1. Maria Varvarigou permalink
    29 July, 2012 8:31 am

    One more smart and innovative graph from Antiforma. Thank you!!!!!!

  2. 16 August, 2012 9:14 pm

    Wow!! This is cool! I can’t imagine wearing a half-kilo heavy medal!! 😀 I’ve actually visited a Rio 2016 exhibition and I’m wondering if their medals will be heavier than London’t according to your mathematical models? 🙂


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