The IOC executive board approved the Athens medal design Monday, replacing the Roman amphitheatre with a Greek stadium and offering a new image of the victory goddess Nike.
Since the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, the front side of the medals has featured a Roman stadium and a horse-drawn chariot with Nike holding a laurel wreath above her head.
The new design features the all-marble Panathinaiko stadium, site of the first modern games in 1896 and venue for archery and the finish line of the marathon at next year's Olympic Games.
The new image of Nike is based on a marble statue by the sculptor Paionios of Chalkidiki, carved in 421 BC and placed in the Temple of Zeus in Olympia.
The image of Nike, with outstretched wings, gives the impression that she is descending from heaven to crown the victors with an olive wreath.
By tradition, the reverse side of the medals has featured different designs created by each host city. In this case, according to IOC officials, the flip side will show the Athens logo, the Olympic flame and ancient Greek writing.