The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 medals were officially unveiled today in Seoul. The medals reflect the traditions and culture of the host nation, the Republic of Korea; something that all athletes who step onto the podium next February will treasure in the years ahead.
Korean culture is at the heart of the design. Hangeul, the Korean alphabet and the foundation of Korean culture – has been incorporated into the design of the medals (as it has also been used in the Games emblems and pictograms). A series of consonants have been selected to symbolize the effort of athletes from around the world who bring their youth, solidarity and national heritage together to compete on the stage of PyeongChang 2018. The official slogan of the PyeongChang 2018 Games – ‘Passion Connected’ – also embodies this belief and the Olympic values; excellence, friendship and respect.
The two-dimensional consonants have been turned into three-dimensional figures and cut into cylindrical forms to complete the design that shows the sporting discipline and event. The front of the medal bears dynamic diagonal lines symbolizing both the history of the Olympics and the determination of the participants. The back of the medal features the sports discipline and event alongside the Games’ emblem.
The ribbon from which the medal hangs is an equally important part of the design and has been created using the traditional Gapsa textile of Korea. The light teal and light red ribbon is embroidered with Hangeul patterns and other designs to represent the delicate and refined beauty of Korea.
The gold, silver and bronze medals will all be kept safe and secure in a beautiful case that takes its design inspiration from the curves of Korean architecture and has a wooden finish, like so many of the temples and buildings in the countryside.
The medals were designed by LEE Suk-woo, an industrial designer from Korea. He has a long list of awards and accolades to his name including one of the Top 10 design concept consultants in the 2015 Red Dot Design Awards and was selected as the next-generation leader of Korea by Forbes in 2013.