Special medals for spectacular Athletics champions
Taking place from 1-3 March this year, the World Athletics Indoor Championships will feature more than 700 athletes as they compete across 26 events, aiming to come out victorious and secure a coveted medal, with up to 108 medals being awarded (allowing for up to six in a relay team).
The pinnacle of every athlete’s career is to stand on the podium at a major championship and be presented with a unique medal that recognizes and reflects the magnitude of their achievement at the highest level.
Although this is the 19th edition of the championships, this is the first time the event has been held in Scotland. This is reflected in the design of the medal, which incorporates the thistle-inspired event brand, complemented by a selection of well-known Glasgow landmarks around its outer rim, giving athletes a little piece of Glasgow to remember their triumph long after they leave the city.
Event organizers launched an open call last summer, giving Scottish artists a chance to submit their designs in a bid to become a part of history. Winning artist Graeme Clark from Edinburgh is proud to see his illustrations transformed into a stunning creation that will be presented to all the medallists.
Speaking about his design and inspiration, Clark said: “As a man from Edinburgh, I’ve always enjoyed trips through to Glasgow for various exhibitions, gigs, and shopping. It’s a city entirely of culture and is a great creative inspiration for designers like me.
“It’s also a place full of inspiring talent and iconic architecture. I’ve worked with many Glaswegian brands over the years, and the city always seems to birth amazing things. The city has a lot of iconic monuments and structures that served as the inspiration for the design.”
Bailie Annette Christie, Chair of Glasgow Life, who coordinated the design competition, said: “When we issued a callout to the Scottish craft and design community, we knew the standard of submissions would be high, but we were hugely impressed with the quality of the response.
“While we had a tough decision to make, Graeme’s design stood out as the clear winner, and we are delighted to create a medal that incorporates so much of Glasgow’s iconic skyline and has a distinctly Scottish feel.
“Glasgow is proud to be hosting one of the biggest sports events in Scotland this year, and I can’t wait to see the medals presented at the Championships next month. I am sure the winning athletes will all treasure the small part of Glasgow they take home.”
Among the first to set eyes on the medals were young athletes from the team representing Glasgow at the European City Challenge last October, Shettleston Harriers, and Victoria Park Glasgow Athletics Club. They were given a sneak peek by event ambassador, world and Olympic medallist, and European champion Eilidh Doyle, and three other Scottish athletics legends, 1980 Olympic 100m champion Allan Wells, and 1993 world indoor champions Yvonne Murray-Mooney (3000m) and Tom McKean (800m).’
Doyle said: “As an athlete, it is always exciting when the medals are revealed as you know the championships are getting close, so it creates a real buzz. And when you see them for real, it makes you want one and spurs you on that little bit more.
“The medals are all quite different, and it is great to see a strong Scottish and Glasgow theme on this one, creating a sense of place for the championships that will be remembered.”
The medals have been produced by specialist manufacturers Toye, Kenning, and Spencer, who have made a range of high-quality championship medals, including the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. In addition to the gold, silver, and bronze editions, a pewter coaches medal has been made to recognize the coaches of the winning relay teams.
Looking forward to the Championship, Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray said: “The World Athletics Indoor Championships offers Glasgow – and Scotland – a further opportunity to shine on the world stage and showcase our reputation for hosting and delivering major international events.
“From the thistle-inspired medals to the warm welcome which will be extended to athletes and spectators coming from across the globe, I have no doubt that a successful and uniquely Scottish event will be taking place in March, one which will inspire a new generation of young people to join their local athletics clubs and perhaps become the future Scottish stars.”
Ian Beattie, Chair of UK Athletics, said: “Every athlete competing in Glasgow will dream of winning a medal, and it is fantastic to see that those who are successful will have such a stunning memory of their achievement.
“As the event gets nearer, the excitement is increasing. I know the Glasgow crowd will create an electric atmosphere within the arena to support world-class Scottish and British athletes to perform at the highest level.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, said: “Glasgow and Scotland will provide the perfect stage as the final countdown begins for next month’s 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships at Emirates Arena.”