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Beijing, 11 January 2006:  The Beijing Organising Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) today launched a nationwide competition for the design of the medals for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.  The competition will be run in partnership with BHP Billiton, the Diversified Minerals and Medals Sponsor of the Games.  

As part of its sponsorship agreement, BHP Billiton will provide financial support to the medals design competition, sit on the judging panel and supply the raw materials for the gold, silver and bronze medals.

The medals design competition is the first time in Olympic history that the design of the much coveted medals has been open to the public.  

BHP Billiton Chief Executive Officer, Chip Goodyear, said the competition would be an exciting part of the lead up to the Olympic Games.

“This competition will provide China’s artistic and design community with the rare opportunity of being able to get personally involved the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.  This is a far reaching community program that gives talented people throughout China the chance to create their own Olympic legacy.

“As a company with a long and proud association with China, we are very honoured to be so intimately involved with the Games and the medals design competition.  This competition is a great way for the Chinese to leave their lasting legacy on the Olympics, by directly influencing the medals that will be coveted by all who participate in the Games.”

Design proposals are expected to interpret the themes and values of the Olympic movement with Chinese culture, style and spirit.  Entries open on 11 January 2006 and close on 26 March 2006.  The winning design will be officially unveiled in mid 2006.

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