Centennial Coin Programme, International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Gold Proof, .9167 Fine, Greece 1996
28mm (1-1/16th”), 16.97 grams
HISTORY: The first Olympic contests developed from religious and sports festivals long before 7th century BC. The Greeks believed that harmony must exist between the human spirit and the body. This desire to live a healthy and harmonious life is the very essence of the Olympic ideal.
OBVERSE: “EΛΛHNIKH ΔHMOKPATIA 1996” (Democratic Republic of Greece), around the rim, frames a landscape illustrating the Panathenaic Stadium, which is also known as Killimarmaro (“beautiful marble”). The stadium is shown beneath the Parthenon Temple on the hill of the Acropolis of Athens beyond. Above the Parthenon is a laurel wreath with “1886” in the center. Beneath the stadium is “ΔPAXMEΣ” and “20,000” (20,000 drachmes). At the bottom of the coin is the anthemion flower, mint mark of IETA (Banknote Printing Works of the Bank of Greece). Below the stadium image, and to the right, are the initials “B.Σ.”
REVERSE: The standing Doryphoros, meaning “the one who is holding a javelin,” was sculpted in bronze by Polykleitos around 440 BC and now lost to history. Marble copies remain. In action behind Doryphoros are Olympic athletes in performance of their javelin skills. Above and to the right are the Olympic rings and “1896-1996.”