03 July, 2003
PRAGUE 03/07/2003 (ANA – D. Kalabakas)
Athens organizers unveiled the new Olympic Games medals on Wednesday during the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) closely watched 115th session here, with the ancient Greek goddess of victory, Nike, adorning one side of the medals.
Days after the IOC approved the new medals, the first changes since the 1928 Amsterdam Games, Athens 2004 Games Organizing Committee President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki briefed reporters on the new medals, which she said now featured distinctly Hellenic elements in time for the Athens Olympics.
“We had a goal from the beginning of the competition for the (new) medals to change the one side and to give them Hellenic elements, ones that demonstrate the close relationship between Greece and the Olympic movement. Therefore, in the tender for the competition we asked candidates to include (the ancient sculptor) Paionios’ Nike and the Panathenean Stadium (in downtown Athens) in their designs. The goddess Nike was worshipped as the personification of victory both in the stadiums as well as on the battlefield, while according to myth, Zeus would send her to earth to crown the victors,” Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said.
The other side of the medals, according to the ATHOC chief, shows the “eternal flame” that will be lit at ancient Olympia; lyrics from Pindaros’ “Olympic Ode” and the emblem of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Organizers said 1,130 gold, 1,130 silver and 1,150 bronze medals will be minted for the Athens Games. The medals’ designer is Greek artist Eleni Votsi.
The Nike of Paionios was made by Paionios of Mende in Halkidiki (425 - 421 BC). It was dedicated by the Messinians and Naupactians for their victory over the Spartans in Sphacteria, in 425 BC.
Source: Athens News Agency