ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - The Sochi 2014 Olympics medals got their first public airing on Thursday with organisers unveiling the prizes for Russia's first ever Winter Games and Paralympics.
With eight months to go until the opening ceremony, a record 1,300 medals were manufactured with the Russian city hosting more events than any previous Winter Olympics.
Depending on the colour, the bulky round medals weigh between 460 and 531 grams and have a glass-polycarbonated insert with engravings of traditional designs from various regions of Russia.
"Hopefully we will keep the gold medals here in Russia. The silver and bronze can go to other countries," Games chief Dmitry Chernyshenko told reporters.
He said around 3 kg (6.61 lb) of gold was used in total to plate the medals, which have a thickness of 10mm and a diameter of 100mm, with 18 hours of work required for each to be made.
The front of the medal features the Olympic rings. The reverse contains the name of the competition in English and the Games logo. The Games name in Russian, English and French is engraved on the rim. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by John O'Brien)