What do the 24 dots on the medals for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games stand for?
Published: Feb 18, 2022 04:34 PM
The medals of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games Photo: VCG

The medals of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games Photo: VCG

Did you notice that on the back of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games medals, there are 24 dots surrounding the Olympic logo in the middle? These dots are not only there to be pleasing to the eyes, but also represent that Beijing 2022 is the 24th Winter Olympics. 

The 24 dots sit on two of five concentric circles around the medal. The pattern's design was inspired by a diagram used in early astrological charts in China to explore the annual activities of the Sun. The diagram was first recorded in the book Zhoubi Suanjing, or the Zhou Dynasty (1,046BC-256BC) Classic of the Gnomon. Written thousands of years ago, the book is one of the oldest Chinese mathematical texts.  

The 24 dots have a polished gloss finish to help them stand out from the matte background just like shining stars stand out from the night sky, which symbolizes the bright unlimited potential of the athletes. 

The 24 dots also refer to the 24 Solar Terms used as part of the traditional Chinese calendar, such as the recent Lichun, or the Beginning of Spring, which falls around February 4 every year. These Solar Terms played an important role in helping farmers with their agricultural activities. 

Besides the "24 dots," the design ingenuity of the Olympic medal can also be seen in details such as the ribbons. They are made from traditional Chinese silk and red in color, which is in line with the cultural characteristics of The Chinese Spring Festival and expresses festive hopes for the athletes as the Beijing Games happened to fall during the Chinese Spring Festival in 2022.