- They are designed to hold and showcase the Olympic medals
- They are given to Olympic medal winners at award ceremonies
- The design has confused viewers and athletes
To quote one Twitter user, are they used for holding napkins?
No. The colorful figurines are in fact medal-holders, designed to hold and display Olympic medals. But for a while, many were puzzled by their purpose during the medal ceremonies.
The medal-holder is based on a 3-D sculpture from acclaimed graphic designer Fred Gelli and reflects "contagious energy, harmonious diversity and exuberant nature," according to the design website Tatil
That didn't stop social media users from guessing what the metal piece was for.
"Is it just me or does this year's Olympic trophy/figurine/souvenir spell 'Rio?' wondered one user.
Maybe it's a paperweight? Nope, it's definitely not a paperweight..
In the past, winners were traditionally presented with a bouquet of flowers along with their medals but it's now considered "unsustainable," according to Christy Nicolay, the executive producer of the victory ceremonies.