Podiums and ramps, (3), chipboard/metal, medal presentation ceremonies, Paralympic Games, Sydney, 2000, designed by Brian Thomson, Sydney, September 1999
This is one of many sets of victory podiums that were used at the 550 medal presentation ceremonies at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. This example is identical to all others, excepting for its unique mark, 'set 8', which appears in white paint on the back of each podium. Made from chipboard, it features a range of design elements that serve to distinguish the gold, silver and bronze medallists, and to assist wheelchair athletes - its broad, circular platforms, detachable ramps and non-slip surfaces complied with design and safety standards, and gained approval from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Brian Thomson, an Australian theatre designer, developed the victory podiums in 1999, referring to the IPC logo as a key source of inspiration. Comprising three Korean symbols, called Tae Gueks, the logo signifies harmony between the mind, body and spirit, and its colours - green, red and blue - are central to the podium design. The logo colours serve to distinguish the podiums, with the green tone signifying the gold example, and red and blue tones identifying the silver and bronze. The colours therefore unify the set, and complement the IPC logos that appear in the centre of the platforms.
A second, distinguishing characteristic of each podium is size, with the heights and diameters decreasing gradually from the gold example through to the bronze. (The gold podium stands at 220mm and is 1545mm in diameter. The silver and bronze follow consecutively, with the silver example being 130mm in height and 1280mm in diameter; and the bronze being 120mm in height and 1280mm in diameter.) This sizing also improved wheelchair mobility up to and onto the platforms with the broad diameters enabling wheelchairs to turn in full circle, and the low heights ensuring that the length and gradients of the connecting ramps were easy to negotiate. The final defining feature of each podium was labelling, with the words, 'Gold', 'Silver' and 'Bronze' appearing on the appropriate bases in a large white font.
The Ceremonies Division of the Sydney Paralympic Organising Committee arranged the medal presentation ceremonies by selecting the medals, podiums, bouquets of native flowers, and uniforms for the medal bearers and flower bearers. In addition, it invited 850 students to present medals and floral tributes to athletes finishing in first, second and third positions, and requested members of the Australian Defence Force to raise the national flags.
The Paralympic podiums were designed by Brian Thomson in September 1999, and approved by the International Paralympic Committee one month later. Thomson also designed the podiums for the Olympic Games.
Made for the Sydney Paralympic Organising Committee, c.2000.
These podiums were designed in 1999.
Podiums used for metal presentation during Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
Owned by the Olympic Coordination Authority/Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum.