Ten days before the 2011 IIHF World Championship, Slovakia (29.4.-15.5.2011) organizers have presented a collection of three medals for the three top teams in the Championship - gold, silver and bronze. The medal’s designer is Martin Zlejší, art director for the Bratislava Wiktor Leo Burnett ad agency.
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"My task was to create an original and interesting medal which translates the spirit of hockey, connects everyone during the Championship, and not necessary through dominant national themes," explained Mr. Zlejší.
"The inspiration for me was chiefly the Olympic medals from the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the Vancouver winter Olympics in 2010 which are of various shapes, materials and finishes. It is clear that the Olympics have an incomparably greater budget than hockey championships, but nevertheless I think we’ve managed to create stylish medals worthy of the IIHF World Championship given the options available," he added.
"Since 2001, the Championship tournament organizers have been able to choose the design of the medals and do not need follow the previously defined visual by the International Ice Hockey Federation. We decided to take advantage of this possibility. We believe the medals will be popular. Their weight is also more hefty than in the previous years,” stated OC Chairman Igor Nemeček.
The medals weigh about 220 grams, the diameter is 70 mm, the width of the ribbon is 30 mm. "The individual medals slightly different weights, insofar as they were produced with a high proportion of manual machining - cutting, polishing and sheening," explained Kremnica Mint marketing manager Jaroslav Setnický which minted the medals.
The base material is brass Ms90 (90% Cu, 10% Zn), and they are galvanised in a casing of precious metal - 1st place with pure gold (layer thickness: 0.5 microns), 2nd place: pure silver (layer thickness: 10 microns) and subsequently modified by polishing and patina coating into their final finish.
The medals feature engravings on their surfaces in the shape of hockey sticks and the holders protrude out of the edge of the medals - meaning that no securing elements (handles, eyelets etc.) spoil with the visual impression of the metal. The medal ribbons (Slovak tricolour situated asymmetrically on the left side on a white background) is specially woven for this purpose only and feature a moiré pattern surface finish that resembles watermarks. Work on the medals themselves commenced at the end of January of this year. The longest stage was the preparation of samples which were submitted in different variants and the final finishes were then approved.
The overall shape of the front of the medal is a stylized letter S for Slovakia. The two hockey sticks on the surface are the prime element of the 2011 IIHF World Championship logo. The entire surface of the medals - scratched ice - is another original feature of the medals. The IIHF Logo, the hockey player in the foreground with a victorious gesture and the lettering are embossed, high-sheen and unscathed.