A day in the life of the Sochi 2014 Olympic medals

Ever wondered how the Olympic medals are stored at an Olympic Games? Who keeps an eye on them? How they’re transported to the Medals Plaza? Or what goes on backstage to ensure the medals look their shiny best before being presented to the athletes?

Discover all this and more with the following behind-the-scenes photographs of the daily lifecycle of the Sochi 2014 medals. Follow the Olympic medals on their journey from a secret storage area in Sochi until they are placed around the athletes’ necks on the podium inside the Olympic Park.

The medals arrive inside a metal container at the Olympic Park hours ahead of the Medals Ceremony.

Armed guards help escort the medals through the Olympic Park.

Two volunteers iron the medal ribbons shortly before the Medals Ceremony in the green room adjacent to the Medals Plaza stage.

Backstage, the medals are carefully laid out on trays before the Medals Ceremony.

Instructions are followed down to the last millimetre.

Three hostesses are ready to bring the medals on stage.

The medals and bouquets are now ready on their respective trays. The medals will be awarded by an IOC member and the bouquets by a representative from the International Federation.

It’s showtime!

The hostesses, and of course the medals, make their way on stage.

And the medals find their owners! The winners of the Ladies’ 500m short track event: Silver: Arianna FONTANA (ITA), Gold: LI Jianrou (CHN), and Bronze: PARK Seung-Hi (KOR).