Small percentage of Rio Olympics medals are falling apart

Some Olympic medals have been falling apart.

Some Olympic medals have been falling apart.

More than 100 medals won at the Rio Olympics have been returned to organisers because they have rusted or developed black spots on them, the games' spokesman said on Saturday (NZT).

At least 130 medals, mostly bronze and including some from the Paralympics, are being fixed by the Brazilian Mint who made them for last year's event, Mario Andrada told Reuters.

"The most common issue is that they were dropped or mishandled and the varnish has come off and they've rusted or gone black in the spot where they were damaged," Andrada said.

"The second thing is that a small few, about 10, had problems with the extreme cold."

Andrada said the first problems came to light in October but called them "completely normal."

The Brazilian Mint would fix any defects and return them, he added.

A New Zealand Olympic Committee spokesperson said they had not heard of any issues with medals awarded to New Zealanders, but would help get them replaced if any defects surfaced. 

A total of 2,488 medals were produced for the Olympics and hundreds more for the Paralympics. The silver and bronze medals were produced using 30 percent recycled materials.

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 - Reuters

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