Paralympics: Why athletes listen to their medals on the podium

Gold medalist Mary Fisher of New Zealand listens to the sound of the medal on the podium at the medal ceremony for the Women's 100m Backstroke - S11 Final. photo / Getty
Gold medalist Mary Fisher of New Zealand listens to the sound of the medal on the podium at the medal ceremony for the Women's 100m Backstroke - S11 Final. photo / Getty

The Paralympic medals sound like solid gold hits for the visually impaired athletes.

Those watching the Games from Rio will notice that athletes such as Kiwi swimmer Mary Fisher smile as they shake the medals next to their ears.

The medals have small steel balls inside them, and make different sounds for the gold silver and bronze.

Gold makes the the loudest sound because they have 28 balls inside them. Silver has 20 and bronze 16.

Paralympics have traditionally had braille on them but this is the first time the medals can be heard.

A medal like no other! These Paralympic winners are listening to their medals! For the first time ever, the Paralympic Games have placed a device inside the medals that use tiny steel balls to make a sound when they are shaken, allowing visually impaired athletes to identify which type they are.

The bronze medals have 16 steel balls and make the lowest sound. The silver ones have 20 balls and the golds have 28, producing the loudest noise. All of the medals also have the words 'Rio 2016 Paralympic Games' written on them in Braille. Awesome! @rio2016 @paralympics

A photo posted by The Olympic Games (@olympics) on

- NZ Herald

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