CRYSTAL MEDALS EVOKE WINTER THEME
The 330 medals to be awarded at the Albertville Olympics have been crafted by the Parisian crystal designer Lalique to look appropriately winterlike.
The gold, silver, and bronze medals are partly encased in crystal, giving them an icy appearance. The design features the Olympic rings against a backdrop of the French Alps. Snowflakes and a walking snowman have been centerpieces for previous winter medals, which are the responsibility of the host city's Olympic organizing committee.
The tradition of awarding medals began in 1896 at the first modern summer Games in Greece, where the top two finishers received silver and bronze medals, respectively. The 1900 Paris Olympics are the only games at which medals were not awarded. Winners received works of art instead.