Brazilian preparedness for the Olympics’ continues to haunt Rio De Janeiro as Olympic Medals begin to tarnish and decompose.
It’s not enough for Brazil that the International Olympic Committee called the Rio Olympics preparations for the 2016 Summer Games the worst they had ever seen. Now, well after the fact, Brazil is dealing with an entirely new embarrassment. This time it involves Olympic medals, the everlasting symbol of the 2016 Rio Olympic games.
Agence France-Presse is reporting that Olympic medals handed out to thousands of athletes have begun to corrode and tarnish. The report estimates that nearly 2,021 medals were handed out to Olympic athletes.
“We’re seeing problems with the covering on between six or seven percent of the medals, and it seems to be to do with the difference in temperatures,” said Rio 2016 spokesperson Mario Andrada, which would make for around 140 defective medals among the Olympic athletes who received them.
They added that this problem mainly seems to be occurring in silver medals. This should come as no surprise when they mention the difference in temperatures as the problem. Silver typically tarnishes and corrodes in wet and humid conditions if it is not rhodium plated. However, even without rhodium plating it typically takes some time for silver with a high purity to completely corrode and tarnish.
Perhaps this has something to do with the recycled materials that the Olympics decided to use to create the Medals with for this year’s games. These Olympic medals, in particular, were spoken about in a way with a lot of braggadocios:
"“They make use of recycled raw silver at 92.5 per cent purity, coming from leftover mirrors, waste solders and X-ray plates.”"
It seems fitting that this is the final act for the Rio Olympics that saw a plethora of problems before and during the Olympics. Now the International Olympic Committee are asking the Brazilian mint to bail them out of this mess in an attempt to save face in the eyes of the entire world.
“Together with the IOC we’re setting up a system for replacing the defective medals,” said Mario Andrada, “The medals will either be repaired or replaced.” The United States will likely be most affected by this problem as they hold the highest silver medal count at 37. Great Britain, China, and France should will also likely be affected.