Officials are giving 10 Sochi Olympic gold medalists a special meteorite medal to commemorate the anniversary of the Chelyabinsk meteorite. Winners from Feb. 15 will be given the Sochi meteorite medal after the Winter Olympics are over.
Austria’s Anna Fenninger (Women’s Super-G); Sweden’s Anna Haag, Ida Ingemarsdotter, Charlotte Kalla and Emma Wiken (Ladies’ Cross-Country Relay 4x5 km); China’s Yang Zhou (Ladies’ 1500 meters short-track); Russia’s Victor An (Men’s 1,000 meters short-track); Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov (Men’s Skeleton); Poland’s Kamil Stoch (Men’s Large Hill Individual ski jumping); and Zbigniew Brodka (Men’s 1,500 meters speed skating) will receive a special meteorite medal.
According to Russia Today, officials will send the medals to the respective Olympic Committees of the Olympic winners.
On Feb. 15, 2013, a massive meteorite exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. The space rock measured 50 feet across and weighed around 12,000 to 13,000 metric tons. More than a thousand people were injured and the blast sent a shockwave that shattered windows and damaged homes. Massive chunks of the meteorite were salvaged, some residents were evens selling pieces of it online, and analyzed by the scientific community.
A year later, Chelyabinsk officials have minted 50 medals containing a piece of the meteorite, 10 will go to the gold medalists and 40 will be distributed to private institutions, reports RT citing a statement from the Chelyabinsk Region administration. The medals will be made of gold and silver and will feature an engraving with the meteorite placed in the center.
The Chelyabinsk tourism agency hoped to deliver the medals to the winners during the Olympics but the International Olympic Committee said no other medals could be handed out during the event, reports CBS News.
A video of the Chelyabinsk meteorite medal, courtesy of CBS News, can be viewed below.