No doubt if you’ve been watching the Olympics, you’ve seen supreme athletes who end up being top medalists biting their gold medals. But why? At first and even second glance, this seems like a very strange tradition.
Indeed, according to one reputable source who some may call a bit compulsive says that “more than 15 percent [of those who won] gold medals [at the games]” bit their medals. Among those who won gold, “24 percent of the men and five percent of the women” happily did this deed.
So what is the reason behind this particular (and yes, peculiar) biting action?
After all, these metal coin-like prizes aren’t real gold, at least not anymore. Back in 1912 they were made of solid gold, but these days these ultimate Olympics prizes are almost all silver, with just one percent of their make-up being actual gold.
And anyway, even if these medals were real gold, would that make any difference when it comes to clamping down your choppers on the cold, hard prize you just won?
In fact, some winning athletes don’t really bite down on their prize but rather simply pretend to do so. They allegedly do this in a show of symbolism because, back in the old days, the bite was to ensure that the coin was actually made of gold and wasn’t a fake with the proof being in a mark that your teeth make when you have, indeed, hit sold gold.
But now that these same coins are fakes, well, shouldn’t the odd tradition go away?
Nope. After all, tradition is tradition and most modern day Olympians believe that they have to keep up this act of biting even if only doing so for a photo op.
And so, Olympics medalists continue to bite down on their gold medals, some of them doing so because they are eccentric, some of them doing so because they are superstitious, and some of them doing so because, well, that’s what they think that are supposed to do. To each his or her own, right? Right.