Gifts from space: Sochi winners will receive extra meteorite-studded medals (PHOTOS)
The date hasn’t been randomly chosen – February 15, 2014 will mark the one-year anniversary of the meteorite strike that caused much damage in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in the Urals.
Fifty medals have been struck in all.
“Ten of them will be sent to the Olympic Committees of those countries whose sportsmen win gold medals on February 15, and another 40 will be sent to private collections,” the Chelyabinsk Region administration said on its website.
"We will hand out our medals to all the athletes who will win gold on that day [February 15], because both the meteorite strike and the Olympic Games are global events,” Chelyabinsk Region Culture Minister Aleksey Betekhtin said.
Bits of the space rock have been chipped off and inserted into the medals, he added.
The medals have been made with the use of gold and silver and will be carved by specialists at a workshop in the town of Zlatoust, which is famous for its artistic engravings on metals sourced in the Chelyabinsk Region.
Seven sets of medals will be offered on February 15: In the men's 1,500 meter speed skating, the women's 1,000 meters and the men's 1,500 short track, the women's cross-country skiing relay, the men's K-125 ski jump, the women's super-giant slalom and men's skeleton events. All participants will have the chance to take home the meteorite-studded medals.