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The London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Medals

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Location: British Museum, Great Russell Street, London

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic victory medals are shown publicly for the first time as part of a British Museum display which explores British sources of inspiration for the modern Olympic movement.

Britain played a crucial role in the creation of both the modern Olympics and Paralympics. ‘Olympian Games’ first took place in the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock in 1850.

These games greatly inspired Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin, who attended the 1890 Wenlock games and founded the modern Olympic Games in 1896.

The Paralympic Games derive from games held in 1948 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire, for people injured in the Second World War.

The mascots of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are named Wenlock and Mandeville in recognition of these earlier games.

This display, which is part of the Cultural Olympiad, includes a range of objects from the 19th-century Shropshire games alongside medals from the 1908 and 1948 Olympic Games held in London and the 1960 and 1984 Paralympic Games, and tells the story of the production of the 2012 medals.

More information: London 2012 medals at the British Museum. 

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