I thought maybe I would start with a close up of our medal. This has become the symbol of our team's journey these last four years. It is a beautiful medal. The pictures do not do it justice at all.
Between the years of 1896(the first modern Games) and 2000, all of the medals had the same design on the front. It featured the Goddess Athena and the Olympic Stadium. When the Games came back to Athens in 2004, the design was changed to the one you see below. Still the same basic elements, just a little different. Medals in the future will all have this new design on the front. I am lucky to have one medal with the older design, and now two with the new one. (Eventually I will get a picture of all three medals together!)
The back of the medal is designed by the host country. That is a ring of light green jade. The gold medals have white jade in them and the bronze features a darker (most common in jewelry) green jade. The lighter the shade of jade the more rare.
The ornate Chinese design used to hold on the ribbon looks cool but is not made with practicality in mind. The edges are rough in the places were the ribbon comes in contact with it. Putting the medal on and off, or taking it out to show people and let them hold it has caused the ribbon to fray on the edges! I don't like that it is happening but that will not stop me from sharing it with everyone!