What Are the Beijing Winter Olympics Medals Made of and Who Designed the Honors?

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will begin on Friday, February 4, with 91 nations set to take part. Sports fans can watch on as their country competes for a place on the podium in sports such as curling, speed skating, bobsled, skiing, snowboarding and many more.

Athletes will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals, which are slightly different from the 2020 Summer Olympic honors. Newsweek has everything you need to know about the Beijing Winter Olympics Medals.

What Are the Beijing Winter Olympics Medals Made Of?

This year there are 109 medals to be awarded at the Winter Olympics and athletes will be striving to take home the gold medal for their sport, the highest honor they can achieve.

Victorious athletes are often seen biting their gold medals but you may be surprised to learn that the medals are not made of real gold.

The majority of the medal is made of silver, with only the outer layer made of real gold. In fact, the medals are required to be made up of 92.5 percent silver and only 6g of gold.

The medals are named "Tong Xin" meaning "together as one."

Who Designed the Beijing Winter Olympics Medals?

The chief designer of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Medals was Hang Hai.

The medals' design reflects the fact that Beijing will be the first city in the world to host both the Summer and Winter Games.

They consist of five rings and a center which, as per tradition, features the five famous Olympic rings. The second inner circle features the official name of the tournament, XXIV Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

The design is based on "Chinese ancient jade concentric circle pendants" with the outer rings featuring ice, snow, and cloud patterns, explains the official Olympic website.

A first look at the medals was shared via the official Olympics instagram account towards the end of 2021. Take a look below:

The three medals also resemble the "jade-inlaid medals of the Summer Games in 2008," showcasing Beijing as the first "Dual Olympic City."

On the back of the medal is an emblem of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, with the full Chinese name of the Games(北京2022年第24届冬季奥林匹克运动会) engraved around it.

The back of the medal also features the name of the sport it will be awarded for and astrological patterns, as the games coincide with Chinese New Year celebrations.

Unveiling the medals in October 2021, Hang said: "When athletes hold the medals in their hands, they will first touch the details embodying ancient Chinese culture. Then if they look closely, they will see the cloud and snowflake patterns on the obverse side and celestial patterns on the reverse side."

Beijing winter olympics 2022 medals
Gold medalist Poland's Natalia Maliszewska (C) poses with silver medalist Italy's Arianna Fontana (L) and bronze medalist South Korea's Choi Min-jeong at the women's 500m short track skating medal ceremony during the 2021/2022 ISU World Cup Short Track, part of a 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games test event, at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing on October 23, 2021. WANG ZHAO/AFP via Getty Images