Meteor medals to be awarded at Sochi games

BY Zachary Treu  January 31, 2014 at 3:12 PM EST

Fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteorite will be given to athletes at the Sochi games. Photo by Denis Panteleev/Wikimedia Commons.

Some of the winners at February’s Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, will be taking home a little more than gold, silver or bronze.

The government of Chelyabinsk, a city in the southern Ural region of Russia, has struck 50 medals containing fragments of a meteorite that exploded over the area last February.

According to the Associated Press, ten of these commemorative medals will be given to Olympians who win their events on Feb. 15 — the one-year anniversary of the meteor strike. According to the Associated Press, the presentations will not be part of the official Olympic program.

Several large chunks of the rock, weighing more than 1,250 pounds in total, were recovered from Lake Chebarkul in October.

Recently, several of the pieces went on display at the Moscow Planetarium in an exhibition titled “Meteorites — guests from the sky.”