The Bank of Lithuania presented to our country’s swimmers, headed to the Olympic Games in Brazil, the first coins from the Olympic series, wishing success and a good start for all our athletes who will fight for medals in Rio de Janeiro. The silver collector coin issued today commemorates one of the Olympic sports — swimming.
‘The emerging image of a swimmer is not only a reminder of Rūta Meilulytė’s triumph in London 4 years ago but also expresses our expectations that this year the Olympians will again bring joy to Lithuania with medals. Let this coin — as a wish for success — help make your Olympic dream come true,’ said Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, during the farewell ceremony for the Lithuanian swimmers, organised at the Girstutis swimming pool in Kaunas.
Wishing success in the Olympic Games, the silver coins were presented not only to the athletes Danas Repšys, Deividas Margevičius and Andrius Šidlauskas who participated in the farewell ceremony, but will also be given over to Rūta Meilutytė, Giedrius Titenis and Simonas Bilis, who are preparing for the Olympic starts abroad. In Rio de Janeiro, these coins will be presented to these athletes by Daina Gudzinevičiūtė, President of the National Olympic Committee of Lithuania.
‘It has become a nice tradition of the Olympic Committee of Lithuania and the Bank of Lithuania to issue Olympic coins before Games. I have no doubt that collectors will like this coin and I hope that it will bring success to our Olympians. This coin will shortly be added to the exhibition of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne,’ said Daina Gudzinevičiūtė, who attended the coin’s presentation event.
Future Olympic hopes — young swimmers at the Girstutis swimming pool — also wished success to the swimmers: they formed a living Lithuanian flag from coloured paper. They also put their wishes into a special film and drawings.
On the reverse of the collector 20 euro silver coin the designer Rūta Ničajienė artistically composed an expressive image of a girl swimming towards victory. Using a special tampographic technique, the effect of clear water and its splash was created. On the obverse of the coin are a stylised Vytis and the logo of the Olympic Committee of Lithuania, while the edge carries the inscription: XXXI OLIMPIADOS ŽAIDYNĖS (Games of the XXXI Olympiad).
The plaster model of the coin was created by the artist Giedrius Paulauskis. In the leaflet issued together with the coin, the famous sports journalist Gintaras Nenartavičius gives an overview of the history of Lithuania’s participation in the Olympic Games and the commemoration of this significant event in collector coins.
The 20 euro silver coins were minted at the UAB Lithuanian Mint in the mintage of 7,000 pcs. They can be purchased at the cash offices of the Bank of Lithuania (Žirmūnų g. 151 in Vilnius and Maironio g. 25 in Kaunas) as of their issue date.
This is already the sixth coin from the Bank of Lithuania dedicated to the Olympic Games. The Olympic series was first issued in 1996: a 50 litas silver coin, dedicated to the Olympic Games in Atlanta (USA), was minted then; it featured basketball players. Silver coins in the same denomination commemorated also subsequent Olympic Games. The coin dedicated to the Olympic Games in Sydney, issued in 2000, commemorates disc throwing, in 2004 in Athens — bicycling, in 2012 in London — sailing.
The sports commemorated in coins are selected in cooperation with the National Olympic Committee of Lithuania.
The presentation of the new coin and the farewell to the swimmers were organised by the Bank of Lithuania in cooperation with the Lithuanian Swimming Federation and Girstutis swimming pool.
More information on the coin and a short film about it are available here.