Swimming

How Have Winter Olympic Medals Evolved Over Time? (Winter Olympic Medal Index)

Across 24 editions of the Winter Olympic Games, the medal has risen to become a symbol of the highest achievement in sport. First introduced for the first edition of the modern Olympic Games in 1896, the Olympic medal has a longstanding tradition associated with it. 

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Unlike Summer Olympic Medals, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has fewer regulations on the design of Winter Olympic Medals. While medals for the Summer Olympic Games must be made of certain materials, have a set diameter and thickness, and be circular, the IOC currently does not have any such restrictions on medals for the Winter Olympics. As a result, medals for the Winter Olympics have traditionally been more varied in design than those for the Summer Olympics. 

For the first edition of the Winter Olympics in 1924, the medals did not even feature the Olympic logo, instead having an image of a skier on one side and information about the Games on the other. In fact, the rings were not featured on the Winter Olympic Medals until the 1936 Winter Olympic Games in Germany. The medals for both the 1972 Winter Olympics and the 1984 Winter Olympics were notably square-shaped, differing from the traditional circular-shaped medals presented at the Games. The medals for the 1992 Winter Olympic Games were the first to feature the use of glass in the design, with the glass designed to highlight the Olympic Rings alongside mountains. Following this trend, the medals for the 1994 Games used Sparagmite to depict the Olympic Rings and the medals for the 1998 Games used lacquer in their design. Notably, the medals for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games were the first to feature writing on the edges of the medal, as the words  “Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018” were written out in both English and Korean on the edges. 

Winter Olympic Medals Index: 

Year
Location
Medals (front/back) via IOC

1924

1928

Lot Detail - Bronze Olympic Medal From the 1928 Winter Olympics, Held in St. Moritz, Switzerland

1932

The 1932 Winter Olympics - Godfrey Dewey - Hamilton College

1936

Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany

Sport - Wikipedia | Olympic medals, Winter olympics, Olympic games

1948

Rare St Moritz 1948 gold medal features in Olympic memorabilia auction

1952
Oslo, Norway
1952 Oslo Gold, Silver, Bronze Medals | Medals, Olympics, Olympic games

1956

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

How much it will take to buy an Olympic gold medal

1960

Squaw Valley Winter Olympics Participation Medal | Winter olympics, Olympics, Squaw valley

1964

Innsbruck Winter Olympics Gold Medal for Ice Hockey - 1964 | HockeyGods

1968

1968 olympic medal. Image courtesy of IOC

1972
Sapporo, Japan
1972 olympic medal. Image courtesy of IOC

1976

1976 olympic medal. Image courtesy of IOC

1980

1980 olympic medal. Image courtesy of IOC

1984

1984 olympic medal. Image courtesy of IOC

1988

1988 olympic medal. Image courtesy of IOC

1992

1992 olympic medal. Image courtesy of IOC

1994

Medal memories: Looking back at medal designs from the Olympic Winter Games - Team Canada - Official Olympic Team Website

1998
Nagano, Japan
1998 Nagano Gold, Silver, Bronze Medals | Olympics, Olympic medals, Nagano

2002

2002 olympic medal. Image courtesy of IOC

2006
Torino, Italy
2006 olympic medal. Image courtesy of IOC

2010

2010 olympic medal. Image courtesy of IOC

2014
Sochi, Russia
Olympic Medals from 1896 to 2014 | Olympic medals, Winter olympics, Sochi

2018

2022
Bejing, China
Beijing 2022: Medal designs for Olympic and Paralympic Games unveiled

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