Unless you’re competing in the Games themselves, the chance of seeing actual Olympic medals up close is rather slim.
And that is pretty much the entire appeal of
the British Museum’s modest
but stirring exhibition – to learn a bit about the history of Olympic
medals, but also to witness Nike, the victory goddess, and the River Thames
engraved on sporting history incarnate.
This is the first public display of four
copies of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic victory medals. The other displays in
the exhibition show their counterparts from London’s 1908 and 1948 Games and
the moulds and stamps used to manufacture the current medals. Placards detail
their production, from metal mining to design to creation in the Royal Mint, and
explain Britain’s contribution to the history of the Modern Olympics in general,
from the inspiring Much
Wenlock Games to hosting the Olympics for the third time.
2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games medals exhibition at the British Museum
runs until 9 September.