Skip To Content
  • Olympics badge

For The First Time, Paralympic Athletes Could Hear Their Medals

The same gold, silver, and bronze medals you'd expect, but now with metal pellets inside to make them rattle.

If you followed the Paralympics, you probably saw the athletes shaking their medals close to their ears at the podium.

Buda Mendes / Getty Images

Here is swimmer Bradley Snyder, listening to his gold medal.

A post from the official Olympics Facebook page explains that, for the first time, the medals have pellets inside them that rattle when you shake them.

Buda Mendes / Getty Images

Brazilian swimmer Matheus Souza is thrilled to hear and feel his bronze medal.

Gold medals have 28 small steel pellets, silver medals have 20, and bronze have 18. The idea is to provide a sensory experience for visually impaired athletes.

Friedemann Vogel / Getty Images

Australian swimmer Ellie Cole listens to the sound of her silver medal.

The medals also feature "Rio 2016 Paralympic Games" written in Braille.

Buda Mendes / Getty Images

Swimmer Amy Marren, from Great Britain, feels her bronze medal.

This video from the Brazil 2016 channel shows how the national mint made the Olympic and Paralympic medals, including the process for placing the rattling pellets inside them.

View this video on YouTube

It's worth mentioning that the Paralympic athletes also received a plush doll of Tom, the Paralympic Games' mascot, with hair in the color of the medal.

Friedemann Vogel / Getty Images

After winning the 100m backstroke, New Zealander Mary Fisher listens to the gold medal while holding her Tom doll with matching hair.

Below, Brazilian Verônica Hipólito clutches her silver-haired Tom doll while showing off her silver medal.

Alexandre Loureiro / Getty Images

She placed second in the 100-meter dash.