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An extraordinary Games' keepsake

29 April, 2015   Nicolette Mok

28th SEA Games medals

SINGSOC premiered the medals of the 28th SEA Games at a media briefing, with a coloured SEA Games logo on the front of the medal signifying the physical qualities required of a winning athlete – strength, focus, grace, and skills; and the state-of-the-art Sports Hub on the back reflecting sporting progress in the region. photo: SINGSOC

With “Celebrate the Extraordinary” as the theme for this year’s SEA Games, Singapore is going all out to ensure that every aspect of the regional meet will live up to that motif.

The medals will certainly be no exception. Premiering at a media briefing recently, these coveted pieces of metal laud far more than just an achievement in the arena. They will also highlight the admirable stories behind the event and, ultimately, the completion of a very memorable SEA Games.

“We tried to make something that will not only be impressive, but also something that [will hold] a lot of value in terms of memory, and for people to keep,” revealed Sport Singapore designer Joys Tan, the brains behind this meaningful masterpiece.

These medals, birthed from more than 50 draft versions over a period of a year, sport the SEA Games logo in full colour on the front face and an intricate illustration of our prized Singapore Sports Hub engraved on the back.

Symbolising the amount of vitality and diversity that will be witnessed at this year’s edition of the biannual tournament, the coloured SEA Games logo on the front of the medal depicts human figures in a variety of athletic stances, signifying the physical qualities required of a winning athlete – strength, focus, grace, and skills.

The state-of-the-art Sports Hub on the back, on the other hand, reflects sporting progress in the region. Each medallist will also find his or her sport and event inscribed on the medal’s reverse face.

“When we look at the medal, we appreciate the fact that the medal has a story: A story about grit, determination, and resilience, a story about a winning spirit,” explained Sport Singapore CEO Lim Teck Yin.

“We hope that, through these medals that we have designed, we have created the opportunity for the stories of the 28th SEA Games to be told and retold for the years to come.” 

28th SEA Games medals, Joys Tan

Ms Joys Tan, designer of the Games medals, says other medals were taken into consideration when designing the 28th SEA Games pieces to set them apart from the rest. photo: SINGSOC

Of course, special significance aside, the physical qualities of the medal are also extraordinary. Tan, who cited colour and size as two of the design’s more outstanding aspects, quipped that she had referenced other medals for inspiration, but not in the usual manner that one might expect.

“We took other medals into consideration in terms of how we wanted ours to be different,” she affirmed.

Indeed, traditional medals for international multi-sport meets seldom include colour. While previous SEA Games medals have integrated brightly hued accents, it is uncommon for medal designs to feature an entirely coloured face, as this year’s does.

Manufactured locally by Eng Leong Medallic Industries Pte. Ltd, the unusually large medals will also outdo many others in terms of size. Weighing in at 183 grams and measuring 80 millimetres in diameter, their faces will be bigger than typical ones given out at the Summer Olympic Games.

In fact, when measured against the Olympic ones, this year’s SEA Games medals emerge second only to those from the 2012 London Games (85 millimetres). The preceding years’ boast diameters no wider than 70 millimetres.

Expressing that the large size and the distinctive text on the back help the medals stand out among the pile that athletes may amass over the years, Tan said: “Ours is pretty big – we want to make sure that it’s clear. Based on the feedback from athletes, they also felt that it was important to capture the sport and the event discipline that they participated in.”

A total of 1,327 medals from 402 events across 36 sports will be up for grabs this June, but the excitement does not stop there. Going a step further with the design’s theme of commemoration, 40,000 replica medals have been specially prepared for fans.

Modelled after the gold version and measuring 60 millimetres in diameter (still larger than some Olympic ones!), these Supporters’ Medallions will be one of the numerous souvenirs in the fun packs given out to audience members of the Games’ closing ceremony.

“[The Supporters’ Medallion] represents the collective support of Singapore as well as the region in supporting all athletes and volunteers at the 28th SEA Games,” remarked Chief Artillery Officer Colonel Lawrence Lim, who also chairs the organising committee of the Games’ opening and closing ceremonies.

“We wanted to acknowledge everyone who has walked this journey with us, all the way to the closing day, by providing this replica medal,” concurred Lim, Sport Singapore CEO.

Secure your very own medal today by booking your seat for the closing ceremony at http://tickets.seagames2015.com. Do be quick, though, as 75% of the tickets have already been sold!