Artist's mythical flair wins medal race
Organisers of the London 2012 Paralympics have chosen a design by an artist with roots in Hong Kong for the Games' medals.
Lin Cheung said she found out in June that her designs had been selected, but had been obliged to keep it secret until the official announcement was made on Monday.
'I'm over the moon, and it's great to be recognised for something I worked hard on,' said Cheung, a British-born descendant of a Hakka family from a village in the Luk Keng district of the New Territories. The artist, who also lectures in jewellery design at London's Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, said her designs, on which she had worked for a year, conveyed the Paralympic themes - spirit in motion and the heart of victory. She described them as very 'contemporary' despite the fact she drew on classical mythology for her ideas.
On one side of the medal there is a close-up of feathers from the wings of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, to symbolise forward flight, power and lightness. On the reverse is a close-up of billowing fabric to represent an area close to the goddess's heart.
'In Greek mythological art, the depiction of flowing fabric is supposed to be revered as something beautiful,' Cheung said.
Her older brother, Harry Cheung Lin-hing, an engineering consultant in Hong Kong, says his sister's heritage influences her work. 'Her designs often have a Chinese flair, using gold or silver as her material of choice,' he said.
'I'm very proud of her. It's our father's 80th birthday this December, so this is a wonderful present to him.'
Cheung has three siblings scattered across the globe and her brother is hopeful the family can reunite on their father's birthday in Hong Kong to celebrate her achievement.
Both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic medals weigh 375g to 400g, heavier than the Beijing 2008 medals, which weighed 200g.
Examples of the medals to be awarded at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics will be on display at the British Museum in London until the last day of the Paralympics, on September 9, 2012.
The number of medals won by Hong Kong athletes at the 2008 Paralympic Games held in Beijing and Hong Kong