SOCHI — There are gold medals, and there are those of the meteoric kind.
Regional officials in the southern Urals are offering gold medalists on Feb. 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.