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Chinese Olympian Zhu Xueying claims her Tokyo 2020 gold medal is peeling

My Olympic gold medal is PEELING! China’s champion gymnast sparks concerns over the quality of Tokyo 2020 prizes just four weeks after her victory… but the IOC insist it is just protective film coming away


Chinese Olympian Zhu Xueying has questioned the quality of the medals awarded at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after claiming her gold is already peeling.

The trampoline gymnast took to social media site Weibo to post photos that appear to show parts of her Olympic medal starting to come away just four weeks after clinching gold in Tokyo.

Zhu struck gold in the Women’s Individual Trampoline event with a score of 56.635, beating compatriot Liu Lingling and Team GB‘s Bryony Page who bagged bronze.

Zhu Xueying claimed on social media that her gold medal from Tokyo 2020 is already peeling 

The 23-year-old won gold in the Women's Individual Trampoline event with a score of 56.635

The 23-year-old won gold in the Women’s Individual Trampoline event with a score of 56.635

The 23-year-old posted photos of her medal to show material flaking off on the upper left side of her prize. 

Zhu said she initially thought that the smudge was just dirt but the spot began to grow.

‘Can your medal… peel off like this,’ she asked on the social media platform alongside photos of the medal.

‘Let me clarify this… I didn’t mean to peel the thing off at first, I just discovered that there was a small mark (like pic one) on my medal,’ Xueying wrote on the website, via the Global Times

‘I thought that it was probably just dirt, so I rubbed it with my finger and found that nothing changed, so then I picked at it and the mark got bigger.’

The athlete said she initially posted to see if other athletes had experienced the same problem. 

The gymnast beat out her team-mate Liu Lingling (left) and Great Britain's Bryony Page (right)

The gymnast beat out her team-mate Liu Lingling (left) and Great Britain’s Bryony Page (right)

China claimed gold and silver in the event after Liu (right) claimed silver with a score of 56.350

China claimed gold and silver in the event after Liu (right) claimed silver with a score of 56.350

The post went viral, garnering almost 20,000 comments and left fans stunned.

The International Olympic Committee were quick to shut down the concerns over the medals’ quality.

They responded to Zhu’s claims by saying that it is the protective layer that is peeling rather than the gold plating. 

Zhu's post went viral after it left fans stunned and leading to concerns over the medal's quality

Zhu’s post went viral after it left fans stunned and leading to concerns over the medal’s quality

The layer is supposed to protect the medal from scratches or marks and the committee insisted even if the protective layer is removed it ‘does not affect the quality of the medal itself’.  

However, if a medal were to ever be damaged the IOC keeps molds of all the Games’ medal designs and can produce replacements – for a fee. 

The Tokyo 2020 medal manufacturers Japan Mint claimed it had yet to find any issues with gold medal peeling but the Tokyo Organising Committee may open an investigation into the matter. 

The Chinese athlete could request a replacement medal from the Olympic Committee

The Chinese athlete could request a replacement medal from the Olympic Committee

It may come as a surprise to some to discover that gold medals aren’t actually solid gold. 

They are actually mostly made from silver before being coated in six grams of pure gold, bringing their weight up to approximately 556 grams each.

However, Japan put their own twist on the medals awarded this year. 

Medals from Tokyo were made from recycled metal from electronic devices donated by Japanese citizens, a revolution compared to Beijing’s Jade-inlaid medals in 2008. 

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