Claim: Eco-Friendly Olympic Gold Medals Already Starting to Flake

Claim: Eco-Friendly Olympic Gold Medals Already Starting to Flake

A Chinese Olympian who won gold at the Tokyo Summer Games this month has jumped to social media to ask other medal winners if their awards are already starting to fall apart.

Chinese gymnast Zhu Xueying, who won gold in the women’s trampoline, added photos to social media showing that a chunk of her medal has peeled off, and she wondered if other medal winners were experiencing the same thing.

Xueying’s photos show a dark sport in the upper left-hand area of her medal where she says the facing peeled off only weeks after she took possession of the award.

“Can your medals … peel off too?” Zhu wrote on China’s social media website Sina Weibo. After many replies, the gymnast added: “Let me clarify this… I didn’t mean to peel the thing off at first, I just discovered that there was a small mark (like pic one) on my medal,” she wrote. “I thought that it was probably just dirt, so I rubbed it with my finger and found that nothing changed, so then I picked at it and the mark got bigger.”

Xueying was not alone. Chinese gold medal swimmer Wang Shun also reported that his medal was flaking.

On the evening of August 23rd, Olympic champion Zhu Xueying sent a message to Weibo, saying that her Olympic gold medal had lost a layer of skin, and the upper left had mottled visible to the naked eye.

— Cherry_Chen (@11240Cherry) August 24, 2021

The problem with the peeling medals may be in the unique smelting process employed in their creation. Japan did not use pure metal sources to create the medals but instead used metals reclaimed from discarded electronics.

Warner Todd Huston