For Rio 2016, the Paralympics introduced a cool way to help visually impaired athletes identify their medals. Inside each medal are steel balls that produce sound when shaken -- gold gives out the loudest sound, while bronze gives out the quietest.
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
It was an idea that came from a "eureka moment" from designer Claudia Gamboa, and it was something her team wholeheartedly supported:
"We wanted to begin a new way to celebrate on the podium," Reis said, as he showed off the medals and shook them. "Usually [athletes] bite the medal, and now we want that they make this movement."
You can hear the medals as they’re being shaken, thanks to this video from Public Radio International:
This is such an awesome idea, and judging from the Instagram post above, the athletes definitely approve of it.