Olympic Newsdesk: Vancouver Medals, Brazil Market Rallies

(ATR) The medals for the Vancouver Olympics unveiled ... Brazilian market continues a post-Olympic vote rally ... A French Olympian enters politics ...

Vancouver Olympic Medals

(ATR) Vancouver 2010 unveils Olympic and Paralympic medals that are literally one-of-a-kind.

The gold, silver and bronze medals from the Royal Canadian Mint and Teck Resources were revealed at a ceremony in the under-construction Vancouver Olympic Village.

Vancouver industrial artist and architect Omer Arbel adapted pieces of masterworks by First Nations artist Corinne Hunt to create the unique awards.

“We ended up cropping medal-sized pieces of the artwork, applying each crop to each individual medal,” Arbel said, adding “that in the end all the medals together make the artwork.”

The 615 round Olympic medals show pieces of Hunt’s orca whale masterwork to represent the teamwork of a whale pod.

The 399 rounded-square Paralympic medals use portions of Hunt's raven on a rising totem pole to represent the physical challenges that Paralympians rise above.

The undulating designs are inspired by ocean waves, drifting snow and the mountainous landscape.

Gold from mines in Alaska and Ontario was combined in a Trail, B.C. smelter with gold recovered from used electronics. Silver smelted in Trail was combined with copper. Copper, the main ingredient in bronze, came from mines in B.C., Newfoundland, Chile and Peru.

VANOC CEO John Furlong said the reaction of IOC president Jacques Rogge was the climax of a process that began with an open call for artists in December 2007.

“The beaming smile on his face was the validation we wanted that this was an extraordinary piece of work,” Furlong said. “It will very clearly take its place in Olympic history.”

The Olympic medals are 100 mm in diameter and six mm thick. The Paralympic medals average 6 mm thick and 95 mm width. The 500 to 576 gram medals are among the heaviest in Games history.

Market Rally Continues in Brazil

Following the announcement that Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympics, Bovespa, the Brazilian stock exchange, set a new record high for 2009.

At the end of trading Wednesday, stocks had risen by 2.41 percent to a level of 66,201 points. Stock markets in the losing countries remained relatively flat in their growth.

The Olympics might not be the only reason for Bovespa’s growth. While an Olympic-bump was Following the announcement that Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympics, the Brazilian stock exchange, Bovespa, set a new record high for 2009.

At the end of trading Wednesday, stocks had risen by 2.41 percent to a level of 66,201 points.

The Olympics might not be the only reason for Bovespa’s growth. While an Olympic-bump was noticeable, it was also part of a 15-month rally for the market.

Douillet Wins First Election

Judo gold medalist David Douillet wins a first vote that could lead him to a seat as a deputy in the French parliament. Douillet, 40, won the first round of voting Oct. 11 and faces another round on Oct. 8. He is running as a candidate under the banner of the rightist UMP for a Paris suburb.

Other French gold medalists have made the leap into politics, notably Guy Drut, who served as a deputy and is also an IOC member. Fencing gold medalist Jean Francois Lamour served as sports minister earlier in the decade.

Philippines opt out of Asian Indoor Games

Filipino athletes will not make the trip to Vietnam for 2009 Asian Indoor Games because of conflicts between the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission

The Manila Times reports that the POC unanimously voted not to allow athletes to compete in the games that begin on Oct. 30 because the government-backed PSC has “continuously ignored the prerogative of the Olympic Committee.”

“We decided to consider not participating in the Asian Indoor Games due to derogatory attitude of the PSC and non-recognition of the National Sport Associations [NSAs],” Julian Camacho, the chief officer to the Indoor Games, told The Manila Times.

POC initially proposed for 160 athletes to go to the Asian Indoor Games. However, PSC chairman Harry Angping approved for Pilipino participation only in seven sports that would cut the number of athletes to about 50. Angping said the commission opted not to support the Asian Indoor Games in order to save $54,000 and in the wake of recent natural disasters that have hit the county.

Camacho said the Philippines could also skip the 25th Southeast Asian Games in December in Laos if the interference continues. Philippines is set to participate in 19 sporting events in Laos.

The paper reports that Angping is not willing to fund the venture because of the fear of injuries.

Written by Ed Hula, Ed Hula III, Bob Mackin, and Sam Steinberg For general comments or questions, click here