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Lochte's bronze-and-jade winner's medals from the Beijing 2008 Summer Games
Beautiful pairing of the two bronze winner’s medals that were awarded to legendary American swimmer Ryan Lochte at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics—Lochte placed third in the 200-meter individual medley and the 400-meter individual medley. Both medals are bronze with inlaid jade, 70 mm, 163 gm, and were designed and produced by the Medal Design Group, China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Elena Votsi. Created from ancient Chinese jade patterns, the medals consist of bronze and jade, which symbolize nobility and virtue. Jade has been regarded as a virtue since ancient times, and the embodiment of Chinese traditional values of ethics and honor. The medal fronts depict the standing goddess of Victory against panoramic imagery of the Panathenaic Stadium, with text above reading: “XXIX Olympiad Beijing 2008”; and the reverse of both medals features the Beijing Games emblem surrounded by inlaid jade and the outer circle engraved with the sport, “Swimming, Men’s 200m individual medley” and “Swimming, Men’s 400m individual medley.” The design inspiration of the medal hook derives from jade ‘huang,’ a ceremonial jade piece decorated with a double dragon pattern and ‘Pu,’ the reed mat pattern. Both medals include their original red-and-orange ribbon, as well as their gorgeous red rosewood presentation cases with traditional Chinese brocade boxes, which bear some wear to corners and edges.
The medals are accompanied by signed letters of provenance from Lochte.