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Olympische Spiele Athen 2004

The front of a gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Close-ups of Olympic medals

Medals were first awarded as prizes for Olympians at the 1896 Games. Since then, each Olympics has had its own unique medal design, differing in size, imagery and material. Here we take a closer look at the medals from recent Olympic Games.