Medals that will be presented at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham have been unveiled, after a journey along the city’s waterways by narrowboat.
They were greeted canal-side by athletes including seven-time Paralympic athletics gold medallist Hannah Cockroft, who is set to compete at the Commonwealth Games for the first time.
An all-female group led by Amber Alys, who won a competition organised by the School of Jewellery and Birmingham 2022, designed the medals.
The design process took 15 months to complete.
The medals are 63 millimetres in diameter and 74.3mm in length.
Gold and silver medals weigh approximately 150 grams, while the bronze are 130 grams.
The medals also feature an adjustable ribbon to accommodate athletes of all sizes, which has been designed by Francesca Wilcox.
A total of 1,875 medals have been struck by Toye, Kenning and Spencer, a company based in Birmingham’s renowned Jewellery Quarter.
The company’s premises are also on the route of the Commonwealth Games marathons.
“I started doing research looking at the history of Birmingham as a city, making mood boards looking at Commonwealth Games medals,” said Alys to insidethegames.
“There were lots of sources of inspiration really.
“The medal is actually an aerial map of Birmingham, with roads and canals, which is stylised to reflect the light.
“But on closer inspection you can see that it is a road map of Birmingham.
“It has been a long process, there were strict specifications we had to design to.
“Weight and size were limiting factors and there had to be space for the branding and engraving of the athletes’ names.
“We wanted to create something with a jewel-like quality so that the athletes had something that they could treasure for the rest of their lives.
“We really hope the athletes like them.”
The medal has been created so that is it textured and has a tactile quality, so all athletes, including those with a visual impairment, will be able to feel the design.
Medal winners will also be given a case for the medal designed by team member Catarina Rodrigues Caeiro.
In all there are expected to be 283 victory ceremonies for events at the Games.
For the first time, there will be more events for women than men.
“I wanted to have a good close inspection of what I want, to have a bit of motivation,” Cockroft told insidethegames.
“They are beautiful, really nice, really unique, quite a different shape to any medal I have had before.
“To have an adjustable medal is really, really important
“All the other medals just sit on my lap but these ones, should I win one, I will actually be able to put on as they will be a suitable length for me.”
Medal winners will also be given a case for the medal designed by Catarina Rodrigues Caeiro.
Presenters of the medals are expected to include members of the Royal Family, notable former champions and volunteers, in addition to Commonwealth Games Federation and other sports officials.
At Gold Coast 2018, Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt was among the former champions to make a presentation.
The Games will begin on July 28 and the first medals will be awarded the following day.