The 2016 Rio Paralympic Games sprung into action nine days ago and since the beginning of competition we’ve noticed something a little different about the way the Paralympians are handling their medals. Instead of the customary media shot of athletes biting their medals, photos have been circling of the athletes holding the medals up their ears.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) created the Paralympic medals with steel balls on the inside of them so visually impaired athletes could hear their medals. Each bronze medal contains 16 steels balls that create the lowest sound, while the silver medals each have 20 balls. Gold medals contain a total of 28 steel balls within them to create the loudest noise.
In addition to being able to hear their medals for the first time in history, the IPC then took it what step further and had each of the medals inscribed with “Rio 2016 Paralympic Games” in Braille.
A medal like no other! These Paralympic winners are listening to their medals! For the first time ever, the Paralympic Games have placed a device inside the medals that use tiny steel balls to make a sound when they are shaken, allowing visually impaired athletes to identify which type they are. The bronze medals have 16 steel balls and make the lowest sound. The silver ones have 20 balls and the golds have 28, producing the loudest noise. All of the medals also have the words 'Rio 2016 Paralympic Games' written on them in Braille. Awesome! @rio2016 @paralympics