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Games medals contain metals from around Pan Am world

Games medals contain metals from around Pan Am world

Posted by PanamericanWorld on July 07, 2015

Barrick Gold Corporation, which provided the metals for the bronze, gold and silver medals — 4,259 in all — of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, is a Toronto-based company. But the silver was taken from its Viejo Mine in the Dominican Republic, the bronze from its Saldivar Mine in Chile and the gold from the famous Hemlo Mine, east of Thunder Bay.

Each of the medals for the 825 medal events of the two Games is slightly different from the others, says a spokesperson for Ottawa's Royal Canadian Mint, which made the medals using a process called "mokume gane" to fuse the materials.

"It dates back to Japanese sword-making," says Christine Aquino, director of communications at the Mint, which also made the medals for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

"It gives a wood-grain effect, a motif. All the medals are unique … the wood grain texture is different every time."

The medals were designed with input from Christi Belcourt, a Métis visual artist and, Toronto2015 organizers say, highlight Aboriginal traditions of welcoming guests and celebrating the beauty of the natural world. For the first time, there will be inscriptions in Braille on the medals.

"I definitely feel strongly about having Braille on both the Pan Am and Parapan Am medals," Hamilton's Chelsey Gotell, a former Parapan Am Games gold medallist told The Spec. "You take a medal to a school, kids see the Braille, and you get to explain to them that some people in the world have disabilities."

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