The medals for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad ÔÇô Beijing 2008 ÔÇô have been unveiled to the world on the occasion of the 500-day countdown to the opening of the Beijing Games, during a ceremony held at the Capital Museum in Beijing on Tuesday.

For the first time jade is used for the Beijing Olympic medals. The medals have been designed with inspiration coming from 'bi', China's ancient jade piece inscribed with a dragon pattern. The medals symbolize nobility and virtue and are the embodiment of traditional Chinese values of ethics and honor, emitting a strong Chinese flavor. The winners' medal is made of gold weighing not less than six grams each. The medal for the runner-up is made of pure silver.

Noble and elegant, the medals are a blending of traditional Chinese culture and Olympism. On their obverse side, the medals reflect the Greek character of the Olympic Games: the goddess of victory Nike pictured in the Panathinaikos Stadium. While on their reverse side, the medals are inlaid with jade with the Beijing Games emblem engraved in the metal centerpiece. The design inspiration of the medal hook derives from jade 'huang', a ceremonial jade piece decorated with a double dragon pattern and 'Pu', the reed mat pattern.

The medal box, ribbon and certificate, which were released simultaneously, also embody the aesthetic taste of traditional Chinese culture and reflect the distinct Chinese characteristics and style. The medal box is a wooden lacquer box made by traditional Chinese techniques. The box is rectangular in shape, with four slightly curving sides of its lid and base, a symbol of heaven and earth, which conveys the message of happiness and best wishes for the world. The ribbon is exquisitely designed with a cloud pattern woven on the red strap, conveying a joyful and festive atmosphere. The certificate is made of thin silk and rice paper, an integrated whole of traditional techniques and modern printing.

Source: IOC / BOCOG