Five Fun Facts You Probably Didn’t Know about Olympic Medals

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Five Fun Facts You Probably Didn’t Know about Olympic Medals

It has been 4 years since the last Olympic games, and the 2020 Summer Olympics will be coming up on 24 July 2020 and end on 9 August 2020. This year, the Olympic games will be held in Tokyo, Japan. Olympic games are a series of international sporting events that feature summer and winter sports competitions that over thousands of athletes worldwide would participate in a variety of competitions. One of the most memorable parts for every Olympic games is the awarding ceremony where the winners are given medals at the podium. 

Here are five fun facts you probably didn’t know about Olympic Medals that might interest you: –


1. The Olympics used to award Medals for Art.

  • During 1912 to 1948, the Olympic Games used to hold competitions in the fine arts. 
  • These Olympic games were also known as the “Pentathlon of the Muses”
  • Medals were awarded for literature, architecture, sculpture, painting, and music. 
  • Naturally, the art created was required to be Olympic-themed.
  • According to Pierre de Frédy, the founder of the modern Olympics, the addition of the arts was essential due to the fact the ancient Greeks used to hold art festivals alongside the games. 
  • Prior to the later removal of the art events from the Olympics, 151 medals were awarded.


2. All medals used in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics were actually made in Ottawa, Canada

  • The Royal Canadian Mint has produced over 1,000 athlete medals for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games , and they were  all produced at its very own Ottawa facility.
  • Here are a few interesting facts about the medals:
    • At the time, the medals for Vancouver 2010 Olympics were the heaviest medals in Games history as they weighed between 500 and 576 grams each.
    • Every medal is unique  as  no two designs are the same
    • When placed all together, the Olympic medals formed a puzzle in the design of an orca, which is a raven for the Paralympic medals
    • Unlike all the medals before, these medals were “undulated” instead of flat
    • The reverse of the medals for the Paralympic Winter Games also included Braille writing
    • Each medal was struck nine times with 1,900 tons of pressure, which is the weight equivalent of 760 cars piled on top of each other.


3. One of the most unusual materials that has ever been used to create a medal would be made of a meteorite 

  • About ten gold medals awarded in the 2014 Sochi Games contained pieces of the massive meteor that exploded over Russia in February 2013.


4. Before being awarded with gold medals, winners actually were awarded with artwork

  • In the first modern Olympiad held in 1894, there were no gold medals at all. 
  • First place athletes received silver medals, the second place received copper, and the third place got bubkes.
  • Later on, during the 1900 Paris Games, winners received valuable paintings and works of art instead of gold medals.


5. Gold, silver, and bronze medals have a secret meaning

  • Gold, silver, and bronze medals represent three of the five Ages of Man in Greek mythology. 
  • The Golden Age was a time when man and gods lived in harmony. 
  • The Silver Age was the time when man stray from devotion,
  • The Bronze Age represents a period of war and violence. 


And there you have it, five fun facts about Olympic medals you might not know about. Medals are often given to winners or victors of a certain sporting event as a way to award their victories.