OTD: Greg Joy wins silver medal at Montréal Olympics

On today’s date in 1976, Canadian high jumper Greg Joy won the silver medal in high jump on the last day of the Montréal Summer Olympics.

In rainy weather, Joy defeated the U.S.-born favourite Dwight Stones with a leap of 2.23 metres; two years later, Joy would go on to break the world record for high jump with a leap of 2.31 metres.

The Royal Canadian Mint produced the athlete medals for that year’s Summer Olympic Games. Using a design by Florentine artist Giuseppe Cassioli (1865-1942) that had been used since the 1928 Games in Amsterdam, the medals’ obverse depicts the traditional goddess of victory holding a palm in her left hand and a winner’s crown in her right hand. The design was chosen after a competition organized by the International Olympic Committee in 1921.

For the Montréal Games, the figure of victory is accompanied by the specific inscription, “XXIe Olympiade Montréal 1976”.

The reverse was designed as intentionally bare. It comprises a stylized laurel crown – a symbol of victory since the Games of Antiquity – and the emblem of the 1976 Games in Montréal. Each of the gold, silver and bronze medals measured 60 mm in diameter.

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