Paralympic hero Lauren Steadman is given replica gold medal to protect her protect her Tokyo prize from damage
PARALYMPIC hero Lauren Steadman has been given a replica of her gold medal won in Tokyo after appealing to the University of Portsmouth for help.
The 28-year-old athlete, who used to study at the university, was desperate to protect her gold medal from further wear and tear.
It comes after the Paralympic champion has toured the country letting people of all ages hold her prized accolade.
The constant handling of the medal has caused it to dull and become blemished.
Worried about how much more handling it could take, Lauren reached out to the university’s alumni team, which then hunted through its list of graduates to enlist the help of crafts expert Ming Wu, co-founder of the Portsmouth-based Makers Guild.
Ming painstakingly took 1,500 photos of the medal from all angles to create a 3D digital replica of the prize.
The digital model was then sent off to be produced, 3D-printed in wax, which was then used as a cast to make a gold-plated steel core replica, similar to the actual medal which has a solid silver core which is gold plated with six grams of gold
A university spokesman said: ‘Lauren is very keen to share her success and to give school children – and members of the public – the chance to try on a gold medal.
‘As such, she has been sharing her medal generously at public visits.
‘There is one problem – the medal scratches very easily and Lauren fears that it won't be long before it no longer looks so shiny.
‘As a university we are immensely proud of our graduates and to have a Paralympic gold medallist within our community is particularly special. We are honoured to help Laruen to create a replica so that she can continue to share it with the Portsmouth community.’
The production process to create the medal takes 28 days and has been carried out in secret.
Ming said he was honoured to have been part of the project and added: ‘It’s great to help a friend with something she has dedicated so much effort, time and devotion to.
‘With the replica to be used to inspire more successful people in what they like to put their effort, time and devotion to, I'm just happy I helped a tiny part in making it happen, even if it's just 0.0000001 per cent.’
Speaking to The News during a recent trip on board HMS Prince of Wales in Portsmouth, Lauren, said: ‘I’m so grateful for all the help the university has given me.’