6 March 2006
With just nine days until the start of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games organisers today unveiled the prized medals to be awarded during the 11 days of competition.
The gold, silver and bronze medals were launched by the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation Mike Fennell, Premier of Victoria Steve Bracks, the Australian Government’s Minister for the Arts and Sport , Senator Rod Kemp, Melbourne 2006 Chief Executive Officer John Harnden, and Games ambassador Andrew Gaze, at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, one of the main venues during the Games.
Premier Bracks said the M2006 medal design united the heritage of the Commonwealth Games with the spirit of the Melbourne 2006 event and recognized the significance of sporting achievement.
“The medals are a tribute to a significant number of small and large local and national companies joining together to create a medal all Victorians will be proud of,” Mr Bracks said.
“I am delighted that the gold medals will be made using gold from the Ballarat region – this will be a great legacy for a city already known for its rich gold history.’’
The heraldic and iconic emblem of the Commonwealth Games Federation is carefully embossed on the front side of the medal. On the back, the design uses elements of the M2006 identity and features the halo lines to create a dynamic, yet carefully considered, composition.
The prestigious quality of the medal is reinforced through the design by the layering of the surfaces and use of textured finishes in the manufacture process.
Senator Kemp acknowledged the professionalism of the Royal Australian Mint which produced the medals.
“The Royal Australian Mint have crafted these uniquely Australian medals with the greatest of care and are outstanding examples of their exceptionally high standards,” Senator Kemp said.
“The successful collaboration between the Royal Australian Mint – which sourced the bronze –the City of Ballarat – which provided the gold – and BHP Billiton – which provided the silver – is obvious in the stunning results being unveiled today."
One of the most unique aspects of the medal design is the lanyard which is in the shape of two gum leaves. The designers, Flynn Silver, simply picked up two gum leaves while walking into the workshop one morning. They played with the concept to ensure there was another piece of Australia involved in the medal design.
Along with the medals, organisers today unveiled the fanfare music to be used during every medal presentation during the games.
Australia’s Greg Bowman is the creator of “Heartbeat” recorded by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Mr Bowman has spent many years producing fanfare music, including the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games and the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
“The Games are an opportunity to showcase the design skills we have in Victoria through a number of ways,” Mr Bracks said.
That includes the work of Charlwood Design, who came up with the design and structure for the medal podiums unveiled today.
Senator Kemp said the design team behind the unique Queens’ Baton was used again in the creation of the podium.
John Harnden said the medals, and everything that goes with winning gold, silver or bronze, would be remarkable in all ways.
“There is nothing like winning a medal for your nation, and every athlete will be striving to get one of these Melbourne medals and piece of Australiana around their neck,” he said.
245 gold medal events will be contested during the Games, while a total of 1334 medals will be handed out to athletes - 441 gold, 441 silver and 452 bronze medals (due to double bronze medal being awarded in boxing).
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