Are the gold Olympic medals actually made of gold?

The coveted gold medals that are awarded at the Olympics are actually made of silver. To be specific, gold medals are required to be made of at least 92.5% silver and must contain at least six grams of gold.

The last time gold medals were made of solid gold for the Summer Olympics were way back at the 1912 Stockholm Games, 110 years ago. If you come to think of it from this perspective, silver medals are basically the same as gold medals without the gold gilding. But then, if you are to ask the Olympians which one they would prefer, there is no arguing – they want to finish first and not second. The bronze medals, by the way, are made of 95% copper and 5% zinc.

Though the Olympic Games started in ancient Greece, the first Olympic medal wasn’t given until the 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece, where winners were given a silver medal and an olive branch. Runner-ups received a laurel branch and a bronze medal. The prizes were a nod to the Ancient Olympic Games, where winners received an olive branch from a wild olive tree in Olympia that was intertwined to form a circle.

Gold medals, however, weren’t given until the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri, which started the three classes of medals we know today: gold for first place; silver for second place; and bronze for third place. Though the design of medals has varied since the 1896 Olympics, for the most part, the design selected for the 1928 Olympics remained for more than 70 years until it was redesigned at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. The redesign was due to controversy around the use of the Roman Colosseum on the medals rather than a building with Greek roots. Each medal, however, must include the following details: the five rings symbol, the Greek goddess of victory Nike in front of the Panathinaikos Stadium in Athens, and the official name of the respective Games (such as Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020), according to the International Olympic Committee.

Credit : Style Caster

Picture Credit : Google 

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