Just hours before the torch was lit at the and more than 3,000 athletes paraded into the Centrium, dignitaries showed off the hardware competitors will be battling for.
At a press conference at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, the medals for the 2019 Canada Winter Games were unveiled.
Edmonton designer Tyler Vreeling took several months to carry out the design process along with the Medal Design Committee and said he was proud to see them on display.
“It was really special. I’m not an athlete myself, I’m just a simple farm kid, who turned into a designer,” Vreeling said at the event.
“It’s been a long road and it’s been going on for several months. It’s been awesome. What I hope for is every athlete who earns a medal will be able to use this as a memento to remember the experience, the rush and the ride they had here. Remember this moment into the future and that will inspire them to go onto bigger and better things.”
Vreeling, who is originally from Manning, Alta. said he drew inspiration from the landscapes of Central Alberta, including the Red Deer River. He also added stars to the back of the medal, a personal nod to the hard work of the athletes that will don the medals throughout the games. It also pays homage to the Indigenous and Métis Communities in Central Alberta.
“I was really inspired by the Red Deer River and the story of it, how it shapes the land and how the land shapes it. I wanted to use that as a metaphor for the struggle of an athlete’s journey,” he said.
“It starts coming down as droplets from the sky, down the mountainside and gain speed. You feel that rush of competition and accomplishment. The end motif is the wheat field, which speaks to relishing in the reward of your labours. On the reverse, there are some stars. That is meant to be a little more reflective and contemplative.”
Throughout the games, more than 1000 medals will be awarded. Teck, Canada’s largest diversified resource company, is the sole supplier of the medals at the Games.