POSTED: October 27th 2011

London 2012 starts minting Olympic medals and hockey gets new yellow ball and colorful pitch

Medals will be held in a secret strong room at the mint in South Wales / London 2012
Medals will be held in a secret strong room at the mint in South Wales / London 2012

The new yellow ball makes it easy to spot on the colored pitch / London 2012
The new yellow ball makes it easy to spot on the colored pitch / London 2012

NIKKI WICKS / Sports Features Communications

LONDON: The medals for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have gone into production at the Royal Mint headquarters in South Wales.

Protected by Ministry of Defence police, it thought that only a handful of staff at the Royal Mint know the exact location of the secret strong room where the medals will be stored.

The Royal Mint, which has made coins and military medals for centuries, will produce around 4,700 medals that will be awarded during 805 ceremonies throughout the Games.

Designed by British artist David Watkins and jewellery artist and lecturer Lin Cheung, the designs for the medals were unveiled earlier this year.

Each medal will take around ten hours to produce and will be struck fifteen times with 900 tonnes on a special press, before being stored for safekeeping in a special strong room.

The medals will remain there before being taken to London, when they are officially handed over the London Organising Committee (LOCOG).

Commenting on the production of the medals, LOCOG CEO, Paul Deighton said he “delighted” that the medals are being made in South Wales.

Adding: “It’s great to see businesses across the UK benefiting from the Games.

Royal Mint’s chief executive, Adam Lawrence, said: “We are immensely proud and honoured to be able to strike the Olympic and Paralympic medals. More than 800 local people are employed by the Royal Mint, and now each one will be able to tell their children and grandchildren that they - and South Wales - had a hand in creating a piece of Olympic history.”

Hockey facelift with yellow ball and bright new pitch

Meanwhile, LOCOG revealed today that a yellow ball will be used during the hockey competition for the first ever time at an Olympic Games.

The electric blue and pink pitch at the Olympic Hockey Centre was unveiled today with member of the women’s British team testing out surface for the first time. At previous Olympic events, the hockey playing surface has been green.The revolutionary pitch at the Hockey Centre at the Olympic Park in Stratford is said to it easier for players and fans to spot the ball.

LOCOG ‘s head of sport competition, David Luckes said that player feedback had been positive but added that the committee would continue to work to ensure the pitches would be perfect for the 2012 Games.

“The blue and pink pitch combined with the yellow ball will not only make following the ball easier, it also has a fantastic London 2012 feel,” added Luckes.

Leandro Negre, president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), said: “It is very exciting to see the Hockey Centre now taking shape and seeing the blue pitch for the first time. We feel confident that the spectators both in the stands and on television will get a fantastic visual experience.”

As well as hockey, the ground will also be used for the five and seven-a-side Paralympic football competitions.

Keywords · London 2012 · medals · Royal Mint · field hockey · yellow ball · Adam Lawrence · Paul Deighton · David Watkins · Lin Cheung

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.