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Gold Medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Will Contain Meteorite Fragments

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV - AFP KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV - AFP

The stellar performances of seven Olympians will be honored accordingly in Sochi next year. As reported by the Russian international news agency RIA Novosti, next year's winter games will feature gold medals with “embedded meteorite fragments” from the Chelyabinsk meteor strike that hit southern Russia in February earlier this year.

It won't be the first time an Olympics will feature altered medals. In the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing embedded their medals with jade, a symbol that is "unmistakably associated with China." Vancouver followed suit when it decided to incorporate recycled materials in their medals in an attempt to make the 2010 Winter Olympics "the greenest games ever." The practice dates to 1994, when Norway embedded sparagmite into its medals.

The 2014 medals will be handed out on February 15, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the space rock collision that injured approximately 1,500 people and damaged over 7,000 buildings. Only seven of the embedded gold medals will be awarded, one for each of the seven events scheduled for February 15—including women’s cross-country skiing and men’s 1500 meter speedskating. The rest of the Olympians in Sochi will have to settle for meteorite-less golds.

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