The Canadian Royal Mint hosted a pavilion for Olympic visitors to Vancouver for the 2010 Games. The Mint you say? How could that be interesting? I had exactly the same question, initially. The pavilion is down the street from my office so I see what is going on outside every day. And every day the lines have been getting longer. By mid-day the wait to enter is six hours or more.
Turns out they are showing off the medals created for the Olympic event winners. If you wait in line, you can see and hold the medals. How could I resist? Eileen and I went early, lined up at 7am and waited two hours in order to enter. We had fun in line, talking with other people who were equally interested. The people at the front of the line arrived an hour before we did. The picture here is us with the gold and silver medals on display. We also saw the Paralympics medals.
Some interesting trivia about the medals we learned during our visit to the Canadian Royal Mint pavilion:
- This is the first time the medals for the Olympics and Paralympics were cast in the same theme
- These medals are the heaviest medals in the history of the Games (over 500 grams each)
- These medals are not flat, which is a first for any medals
- Each medal is unique, comprised of a section of a larger artwork (also a first for Olympic medals)
It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and well worth the wait to get in to see these fabulous artworks.