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PyeongChang Olympic medals believed to be heaviest ever (photos)

PyeongChang Olympic medal


The medals for the PyeongChang Winter Games -- the heaviest in Olympic history, experts believe -- were unveiled in a joint Seoul-New York City ceremony on Wednesday.

The gold medals weigh 586 grams (1.29 pounds), the silver medals 580 grams (1.28 pounds) and the bronze medals 493 grams (1.09 pounds).

The previous record for Olympic medal weight was 576 grams, set by the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, according to statistics from “Olympic Medals: A Reference Guide,” by Jim Greensfelder and Jim Lally from 2007 and media reports.

Vancouver reportedly broke the record of 484 grams from Salt Lake City 2002. Thanks to Olympic historian Bill Mallon for checking the guide.

The Korean Hangul alphabet was incorporated into the medals’ edges to spell what translates to “PyeongChang Winter Olympics.”

Recent Winter Olympic medals include the Italian piazza design for Torino, the undulating surfaces for Vancouver and a patchwork quilt with diamond-shaped openings for Sochi.

The medals for the previous Olympics in South Korea -- the 1988 Seoul Summer Games -- were of the more traditional variety.

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Medals from past Olympics:

1988 Olympics Gold Medal

Seoul 1988/Getty Images

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Cindy Klassen

Turin, ITALY: Canadian Speed Skater medallist Cindy Klassen poses with her medals during a 2006 Winter Olympics medals’ ceremony in Turin, 25 February 2006. AFP PHOTO/JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT (Photo credit should read JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

USA's gold medalist Shaun White celebrat

USA’s gold medalist Shaun White celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony of the men’s snowboard halfpipe event of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver on February 18, 2010. AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Medal Ceremony - Winter Olympics Day 15

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 22: Gold medalist Julia Dujmovits of Austria celebrates during the medal ceremony for the Snowboard Ladies’ Parallel Slalom on Day 15 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Medals Plaza on February 22, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Getty Images