Since it’s now 2012, the countdown towards the London Olympics this summer is heating up – and nowhere is that happening more than in the host country. To commemorate the 2012 Games, The Royal Mint has got in on the act and released a couple of collections for the occasion.
There’s the set of official Olympic and Paralympic £5 coins that are meant to be the main pieces of the collection, as well as a countdown series, the patriotic “Celebration of Britain” set and the 50 pence “Sports Collection” that will be in circulation in the months heading in to the Games.
Much like the series of quarters the Canadian Mint issued before the Vancouver Olympics, the 29 coins celebrate the sports that will be part of the summer Olympics and Paralympics. In a really cool added twist, the Royal Mint called on everyday Britons to come up with the coin designs, and over 30,000 ideas flowed in. The 29 final coins are stylish pieces of currency that show the best of each sport, and even the rules in one case. The “Football” coin caught the attention of Dan Girard at the Star for its unique front: half a soccer pitch with the words “Offside Explained” above it and a diagram showing an offside play.
The coin’s designer, sports journalist Neil Wolfson, explained in his video featured on the Royal Mint website how the idea came to him. ”I’m a football fan, I’ve followed the Premier league since it’s inception, and if I had 50p for every time someone asked what the offside rule was then I’d be a rich man.”
Which begs the question – why didn’t anyone in Canada think of that to explain icing rules in hockey?!