The medals that more than 6,900 athletes will strive to achieve at the continent’s most important multisport event were unveiled today during a special ceremony presented by Santiago 2023 and its proud sponsor Antofagasta Minerals. The presentation was held in the middle of the desert just 80 kilometers from the city of Calama in northern Chile.
The event at the Centinela Mine in the community of Sierra Gorda was attended by the Chilean Sports Minister Jaime Pizarro, the Governor of the Antofagasta region, Ricardo Diaz, the President of Panam Sports, Neven Ilic, the President of the Chilean Olympic Committee, Miguel Angel Mujica, the Executive Director of Santiago 2023, Harold Mayne-Nicholls and the the owner of the venue, the Executive President of Antofagasta Minerals, Ivan Arriagada, as well as several workers at the mine.
The ceremony began with a planned and powerful multicolor explosion in the middle of the mining site before moving on to the presentation of the three medals that will be given out at the Pan American Games and the three for the Parapan American Games.
Although this is the second time the medals of the Pan American Games will include Chilean copper — the first instance being Toronto 2015 where the bronze medals had a percentage of said copper — the medals for Santiago 2023 are unique due to the center being made entirely of the mineral extracted from northern Chile. The medals are then completed thanks to the skilled labor of artisans and workers at the Chilean company Milled.
"The medals are precious, but the most important thing is that all the athletes who get on the podium and receive this award will take a piece of this land and of Chile to their countries which is the Chilean copper, the main natural resource of our country. I thank Antofagasta Minerals and its workers for the great job they have done,” said Panam Sports President Neven Ilic.
“This was truly a very important milestone for us. The medals symbolically reflect the achievement of objectives, achieving very good results, in some cases records, but it is also very important that it reflect our identity and what Chile is as well as the value of copper. I believe that being in this region and in the desert is very valuable to us,” said Santiago 2023 President and Chilean Sports Minister, Jaime Pizarro.
The metallic awards have a 100-percent Chilean copper center and feature an oxidative process that produces the green tones in the medals for the Pan American Games and the blue tones for the Parapan American Games medals.
Each of the medals has a diameter of 10 centimeters, a thickness of 8 millimeters and weighs 280 grams.
"We are very happy to receive everyone here at Centinela where the copper is produced, a metal that is now at the heart of the Games. These medals are the product of the effort and commitment of thousands of Chilean miners and workers and that fills us with great pride,” said Antofagasta Minerals President Ivan Arriagada.
The Santiago 2023 Pan American Games will award athletes with a total of 2,986 medals including 947 gold, 947 silver and 1,092 bronze.
The Pan American Games begin on October 20 and will end on November 5 and will be the most important and massive multisport celebration ever seen in Chile.