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Rio Paralympics Innovative Medals to Help Visually Impaired Athletes

September 1, 2016
Source: Metro (UK)

Organisers at the Rio Paralympics have for the first time designed special medals which will allow visually-impaired athletes to tell if they are gold, silver, or bronze.

Each of the 2,642 medals (877 gold, 876 silver, 889 bronze) contains a device which, using small metal balls, will allow athletes to distinguish between the three colours.

Thanks to the new innovation, the three types of medals will make a different sound when shaken.

The bronze medal will contain 16 steel balls and make the lowest sound. By comparison, the gold and silver medals will contain 28 and 20 balls respectively.

[Image removed: Picture of Rio Paralympic Games gold, silver and bronze medals with Braille.] All of the medals will include the words “Rio 2016 Paralympic Games” written on them in braille.

The design of the medals is part of a wider push to make the Rio games as environmentally friendly as possible.

The silver and bronze medals have been made using 30% recycled materials, while half of the ribbon hanging round athletes necks will derive from recycled plastic bottles and the podiums will be made of recycled materials.

The Paralympic games get under way in Rio on September 7 and run until September 18.

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