In Russia this morning, Sochi Organizers for the 2014 Winter Olympics unveiled the medals that will be hung around the necks of the world’s greatest athletes. The pattern is based on a “patchwork quilt” design to represent Russia’s sprawling regions, with Sochi lying along the coast of the Black Sea in the Krasnodar Krai federal subject.

A record 1,300 medals are in production for the Olympics and Paralympics. They will be 0.4 inches thick, 4 inches in diameter. The Olympic golds will weigh in at 16 ounces after a total of 6.6 pounds of gold were used to make the medals plated in gold.

According to the AP, Russian President Vladimir Putin inspected them during a visit to the SportAccord conference and a lunch meeting with International Olympic Committee officials, and is reportedly directly involved in Olympics preparations. They’ve also invested upwards of $117 million in an athletic initiative in hopes of putting to rest its dreadful 2010 games showing, which took place in Vancouver.

During the 2010 games, Russia took home an unusually 3 gold, 5 silver, and 7 bronze medal count placing the largest country in the world at 11th overall while host Canada boasted a games-high 14 golds for 26 total. The U.S. was third in gold medal count with 9 but took home the most overall with 37.

The Sochi Games will feature 12 new medal events including snowboard and ski slopestyle, ski halfpipe, snowboard parallel special slalom, womens’ ski jumping, figure skating team event, luge relay and biathlon mixed relay giving Russia 12 more chances to make up for 2010.

Surprisingly, this will be Russia’s first time to host the Winter Olympic Games, and the first time to host the Paralympic Games and has committed an amazing $12 billion in facilities and related costs.

The Winter Olympics are still over a year away but its never too late to start making predictions. How do you think the United States will fare against age old rival Russia on the Russians’ home turf? Will Canada repeat as having the highest gold medal count of any country in the world?