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An Ice Hockey Medal Captures The Thrill Of Scoring

In a smart symbolic play, Tapio Kettunen used the image of a puck pushing against the net.

An Ice Hockey Medal Captures The Thrill Of Scoring

This is a huge year for Helsinki: The Finnish city is the Design Capital of the World and will soon play host (along with Stockholm) to the World Ice Hockey Championship Games. To mark the latter event, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) selected Finnish artist Tapio Kettunen’s championship medal design, which, depicting a puck straining against the net, literally stretches the traditional bounds of the medium.

Kettunen beat out two other invited Finnish architects to earn €7,500 ($9,924) in the invited competition. According to IIHF’s press release, Kettunen says: "I was about to turn in another, more traditional design, as well, but when I heard [Jury Chairman Kalervo] Kummola mention the Helsinki World Design Capital year, I thought that a more modern design would be the way to go." In doing so, Kettunen captured the kinetic spirit of the game (and the ultimate rush of victory) using the powerful visual of a puck hitting the goalie net after a hard shot.

Look close: The puck is rendered in relief.

But the backside is no less poetic: Surrounding the IIHF logo, curved lines symbolize skate marks on the ice, the various tactical plays, as well as the players’ paths to the tournament, as IIHF summarizes: "Some of them go all the way, others’ journey gets cut in the middle, and yet others will have to bypass this tournament towards new challenges in the future."

[Images courtesy Finnish Ice Hockey Association]