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New Medals Create a Stir
Medals and Mascots for Winter Olympics Announced
By Alexandra Cale

The medals of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games
The medals of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games .
(Photo: AP Wide World)
The medals of the 2006 Winter Olympics have a new look. They are designed to represent the Italian piazza, or town center. Each medal has a hole in its center with a ribbon looped through the hole. In the past, medals looked more like large coins attached to ribbons.

"I am thrilled to think that these medals will depart from Torino around the necks of the world's greatest athletes, and will travel all over the Earth," said Valentino Castellani, president of the Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympic Games. "The athletes' exploits and their smiling faces will preserve the memory of these extraordinary Games of Torino 2006, and with this memory, the image of Italy."

The front of the medal will feature the emblem of the 2006 Games, and the back will have an image of the winner's sport. The empty space on the medals stands for the piazza. When worn around the neck, this space will lie near the place where the heart beats—the symbol of life itself.


Neve and Gliz
Neve and Gliz
(Photo: TOROC/AP Wide World)
The Mascots

Neve, a snowball, and Gliz, an ice cube, are Torino's mascots. These cheerful cartoon characters are meant to express all the excitement, traditions, style, and love of sport that the Olympic Games stand for.

The idea for this year's mascot began in the winter of 2003, when the Organizing Committee announced a competition to design the mascot for this year's games.

The winner was Portuguese designer Pedro Albuquerque. He was inspired to create Neve and Gliz by his love for snow and ice. They represent an energetic, lively generation of Italians, excited to host the Olympic Games.




Photos, left to right: © Rick Rickman/NewSport/NewSport/Corbis; © Joe Cavaretta/AP Wide World.