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Heavy medal: The weight of the Olympic prize is impressing Rio athletes

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The medals being given out at the Rio Games are the heaviest in Olympic history.

In other words, wear with caution.

At 17.6 ounces apiece – 1.1 pounds – it’s quite a bauble that’s getting dangled off the necks of some of the world’s top athletes. And some have been surprised about how that weight feels when presented with their Olympic prize.

“I might start getting a neckache,” British trap shooter Edward Ling said Monday after winning bronze. “It’s rather heavy.”

The gold medal is really made of silver and then plated with a small amount of gold. Much of the silver used in the medals was recycled, and the bronze medals include the same copper that goes into Brazilian coin.

Swedish swimming star Sarah Sjostrom was surprised by how big her Olympic medal was when she won gold in the women’s 100-meter butterfly.

“It’s very heavy,” Sjostrom said. “It’s the heaviest medal I ever won.”

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

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