Medalists at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will celebrate with circuit boards hanging from their necks.
That's right. Gold, silver, and bronze medals for the upcoming games will contain metal from recycled TVs, computers, and keyboards that might have otherwise ended up as e-waste. Vancouver metals giant Teck Resources is producing and supplying the medals along with the Royal Canadian Mint.
To acquire the metal for the medals (with great mettle, no doubt), Teck is recovering materials from cathode ray tube glass, computer parts, and circuit boards through smelting. The process involves shredding, separating, and heating electronic components, then combining the byproducts with metals from other sources.
More than 1,000 medals are currently being produced for the 2010 games. But geekiness isn't the only thing that makes them distinct.
They feature contemporary Aboriginal artwork by Corrine Hunt, a Canadian designer of Komoyue and Tlingit heritage. Also, the medals are wavy rather than flat, a form inspired by the ocean waves, drifting snow, and mountainous landscapes found in the Games region and throughout Canada.