WITH their interlocking circles and elegant design, the medals for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games lived up to the city’s stylish reputation when they were unveiled last night.
Designed by silversmith Jonathan Boyd from the Glasgow School of Art (GSA), the gold, silver and bronze medals made their first public appearance at Kelvingrove Art Gallery, marking the 100-day countdown to the Games’ opening ceremony on 23 July.
Mr Boyd, a Glasgow-based artist and lecturer at the school, said he had tried to combine abstract and contemporary symbols of Glasgow’s industrial heritage with the circular motion of sport into the final design.
“But the open, latticework style of the medals mean they will never be fully complete until hung round an athlete’s neck with the colours of the winning country finally forming the background,” he said.
More than 1,380 medals will be awarded at 261 medal ceremonies during the Games.
Each medal weighs 100g and they are being hand-made by jewellers at GSA.
Mr Boyd worked with a team of 11 specialists at GSA, crafting the medals through a series of complex processes, with each being finished by an individual jeweller, ensuring each is unique.
He said: “The latticework is an important element which felt Glaswegian to me. The feel of it is synonymous with the city, from the metalwork outside the Mackintosh building to the look of the Clyde crane.”
Describing the challenge of making nearly 1,400 medals for the Games, he said: “There’s blood, sweat and tears in those medals. Just like the way athletes train and go through hell and back to get there, we’ve gone through the same.”
Speaking after the medals were unveiled before guests including Olympic gold-medal winning athlete Allan Wells MBE, Mr Boyd said: “As someone who is extremely proud to live in the city of Glasgow and an avid sports fan, I am thrilled to be given this opportunity.
“I hope I have designed something that stands proud as an interesting and unique object but, more importantly, something that celebrates each athlete’s individual achievement.”
Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of Glasgow 2014, said the medals’ contemporary design would enhance Scotland’s reputation around the world.
“These medals are the coveted prize that all the athletes coming to compete at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have in their sights – the ultimate reward for all those years of toil, training and dedication”, he said.
“Our medals are unlike any I have seen before and are a unique representation of the stunning, contemporary vision of Scotland that will be beamed around the world.”
Last night’s event also recreated the medal procession ceremony, complete with ceremonial outfits designed by Kerry Nixon to be worn by medal bearers.
Work by Paul Hodgkiss, designer of the wooden podiums, trays and gifts to be used during the Games, was also on display.
Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, described the medals as “absolutely stunning”.