NEWS

2004 medals stress heritage

The medals that Olympic victors will win from next year onward will highlight the inextricable link between the birthplace of the ancient Games, Olympia, and the site of their rebirth in 1896, Athens. The medals, approved by the International Olympic Committee at its meeting in Prague, were unveiled yesterday. Greek jewelry designer Elena Votsi had won the international competition for the medal design. The side that will be used in all future Olympics depicts a winged personification of Victory (Nike) hovering in the foreground above the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896. The winged figure is modeled on the famed Nike of Paeonius, after its fifth-century BC sculptor, which was discovered at Ancient Olympia. The design replaces the medal adopted at the 1928 Amsterdam Games showing a Roman-era stadium and a Nike figure in a chariot. The obverse depicts the olive wreath emblem of the Athens 2004 Games, the Olympic flame and the opening lines of an ode by Pindar honoring a champion wrestler in 460 BC.