Sochi's Winter Olympic medals are the best in decades

USA TODAY - On Thursday, Sochi officials unveiled medals for next year's Winter Games.

The patchwork quilt design represents the various geographic features of the Black Sea resort, from its snow-lined mountaintops to sandy beaches.

It's a unique spin on a classic design. The circular shape and distinct coloring make the medals worthy of Olympic champions, but there's enough local flavor to make the medals Sochi's own.

The diamond-shaped openings on the front (and a bigger gap on the back) sort of make the gold, silver and bronze look like medallions that would be used to open a secret passageway in an Indiana Jones movie, but it all works well together.

Winter Olympic medal designs tend to be more eclectic than in the Summer Games, which have a base template. Vancouver's looked like potato chips.

Turin's were a doughnut and held together with one of Steven Tyler's scarves.

The bribery scandal was only the second worst part of the Salt Lake City Games.

The Nagano medals weren't terrible, but looked too much like a medal your six-year-old gets for playing soccer.

Don't even get me started on Lillehammer.

And the 1992 Albertville medals were made of glass. OF GLASS!

It should go without saying that Sochi has the best Winter Olympic medals in decades.


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