The organizing committee behind the Orillia 2020 Ontario Winter Games (OWG) has unveiled the medals for this year’s competition, which were designed by local artist Tony Bianco.
Bianco, a painter that has also designed dozens of commemorative coins for the Royal Canadian Mint, designed the gold, silver and bronze medals that will be awarded to the top athletes across 27 different sports from Feb. 27 to March 1. The Orillia 2020 OWG, which offer free admission at all events, begin this week with opening ceremonies at Couchiching Beach Park at 7 p.m. on Feb. 27.
“It’s exciting to have a part in that moment when an athlete wins something and cherishes that medal,” Bianco said.
One side of the medal focuses on elements associated with the games, he said, while the other side represents the host community. “We wanted to have a strong Orillia presence that reflects our hosting the event, which celebrates the volunteers and what the games mean to a city like Orillia.”
Peter Bowen, head of the medals committee, said he was impressed when he finally got the chance to see and hold the medals. Bowen volunteered for the same role when Orillia previously hosted the Winter Games in 2018.
“I was delighted,” Bowen said. “We really, really liked the medals we had [in 2018], but they were a two-inch medal and this time we increased the size and opted for a three-inch medal to give it even more presence.”
Along with being a heavier, more substantial medal, Bowen said it will be a “good reward for all the efforts the athletes have put into earning it.”
For more information about the games, visit the Orillia 2020 OWG website.