Meteor medals an extra incentive in Sochi

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Meteor medals an extra incentive in Sochi

Olympic gold medalist USA's Evan Lysacek stands for the national anthem during victory ceremonies in the men's figure skating competition at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.

Sochi:  There are gold medals, and there are those of the meteoric kind.

Regional officials in the southern Urals are offering gold medallists on February 15 at the Sochi Olympics an extra commemorative medal embedded with a fragment of the Chelyabinsk meteorite.

The meteor that blazed across the southern Urals last February was the largest recorded strike in more than a century. Russian scientists recovered a giant chuck of the meteor from the bottom of a lake, and pieces of that have been used for the commemorative medals.

The Chelyabinsk government said it had struck 50 medals, which will be unveiled on Monday, and 10 would be issued to the athletes who win finals on the anniversary of the strike. The presentations will not be part of the official Olympic program.

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