Olympic committee says “No” to meteorite medals during Sochi games

Reporters gather around the largest piece of the Chelyabinsk meteorite fall, which was lifted from the bottom of the Chebarkul Lake and placed on display in a local museum in Chelyabinsk last fall. It weighs about 1,442 lbs.
Credit: Reuters / Andrey Tkachenko

Apparently meteorites and medals don’t mix. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has told Russian authorities that they can’t give out the special meteorite medals commemorating the anniversary of last year’s spectacular Chelyabinsk fireball to gold-medal-winning athletes during ceremonies.

It’s perfectly fine to do so after the Olympic games and separate from them but not before. The IOC wants to keep the games free of any outside influences especially during competitions and ceremonies.

A worker creates a special souvenir Olympic medal with a fragment of the Chelyabinsk meteorite at the MAOK art workshop in Zlatoust, Russia recently. In addition to their gold medals, winning athletes were to each receive an additional gold and meteorite medal. Credit: RIA Novosti / Aleksandr Kondratuk

While disappointed, I understand the decision. Even though meteorite-embedded medals are anything but commercial, I suppose someone might suggest other less savory commemorations connected to politics, battles or buildings.

We hope the athletes will get their due after the 23rd.

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Compilation of dashcam and security camera videos of the Chelyabinsk fireball

Today marks the first anniversary of the Feb. 15, 2013 Chelyabinsk meteorite fall – the largest witnessed meteorite fall since the Tunguska Event in 1908 which also occurred over Russia. Enjoy the truly amazing video compilation. If you’d like more information and pictures showing just how amazing this meteorite is, check out today’s article on Universe Today.

5 thoughts on “Olympic committee says “No” to meteorite medals during Sochi games

  1. wouldn’t it have been more appropriate for them to tell the Russians “nyet”? anyway, i like the music to that vid also. particularly the 1st song. good stuff.

  2. Hi Bob;
    The 1442 lb. piece of the Chelyabinsk meteorite shows no external burning/fushion crust. Is it because it had stayed in a lake for a long time, and the crust had dissolved, or, why ?

    • YK,
      Yes, you’ve got it. It was in the lake for 8 months and rusted over. Fragments that are now being picked up in the field are also showing the effects of rust and weathering from the environment. They’re no longer quite as black as the specimens picked up immediately after the fall. Thanks to water and oxygen, meteorites aren’t happy campers once they arrive on Earth.

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