Olympic winners throughout all the years often bite their medals on the podium and nobody knows why they love to do it as the reason why is such a mystery. In fact, it’s such an enduring mystery that even Olympic historians do not understand it in detail. It is not a chocolate coin wrapped in gold foil. That is indeed actual metal that composes that Olympic medal. At first, people always think they bite their medals just for the pose when their pictures are being taken. Little did many people in this whole wide world know, there are actually some unexpected reasons behind it.
A little bit of history. The Olympic Games as we know them first debuted in the year of 1896. However, at the first games, rather than gold, first place competitors won silver medals, second place won bronze. In the next Olympics in the year 1900, the winners mostly received trophies or even cups. It was not until the 1904 Olympics that medals made of solid gold were awarded to top athletes. These are the reasons why Olympic winners bite their own medals.
1) Purity Check
Traditionally, because gold is softer and more malleable than other metals, one way to determine whether or not it was real gold was to bite into it. If it is authentic, the Olympic winners’ teeth would have left an indentation.
2) Photographer Obsession
It has become an obsession with photographers. Shutterbugs consider the medal biting pose to be the shot that can make it to the front page of the next day’s newspaper and hence request the athletes to do so.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic medals are actually so unique as they are a product of the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project, which saw the collection of small electronic devices such as used mobile phones from all over Japan to produce the Olympic and Paralympic medals.