More than 80 American athletes have sent medals they won at the Rio Olympics to the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters to be shipped to Games organizers, who will replace them because of flaking, black spots and other damage.
The Americans, including the gold medal wrestlers Kyle Snyder and Helen Maroulis, are among at least 100 Olympians from across the globe with defective medals. The USOC learned about the problems in December and reached out to all the American sports federations in January to begin the process.
The Rio Games spokesman Mario Andrada said officials have noted problems with the covering on 6 to 7 percent of the medals. “The most common issue is that they were dropped or mishandled, and the varnish has come off and they’ve rusted or gone black in the spot where they were damaged,” Andrada told the Associated Press.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.