Why do athletes bite their medals? On the podium, winter Olympians in Beijing will follow in the footsteps of previous Olympians by biting their medals, but why?
Three long years have passed since your previous opportunity to win Olympic glory. Finally, you win your event and can declare yourself as Winter Olympics champion. First, you are given your medal and memento, then your national anthem is broadcast to the worldwide audience.
The pleasantries have been made with the officials, and greetings with your fellow podium-sitters have been completed. You then proceed to gnaw on your medal. That’s correct: In an Olympic custom, athletes bite their medals after they’ve been given. Why is this the case? What are the reasons behind athletes biting their medals during the Summer and Winter Olympics and Paralympics?
Athletes And Their Medal Biting
One method for hunters to discover out if they had hit gold during the American gold rush of the 19th century was to bite into their find. When gold is bitten, it is a flexible metal that leaves tooth-marks when broken.
If it was a large, ancient rock – and sometimes toothaches – went into the hunt for gold. If Olympians in Beijing bit their medals to see if they were genuine gold, they’d be sorely disappointed. As the gold medals today are not actual gold, a visit to the dentist is required.
Why do Olympic athletes bite their medals: Explored
In Olympic medal ceremonies, athletes continue to bite into their medals. The actual explanation for the unusual behavior is quite straightforward. It provides excellent photos and the photographers adore it. A money photo is an athlete with a metal piece between his teeth next to an iconic structure.
Olympian Usain Bolt and swimmer Michael Phelps, with 36 Olympic medals between them, 29 of them gold, have bitten their medals.