Why athletes and Olympians bite their medals

In light of the recent Southeast Asian Games held in the Philippines, many Olympians took home gold, silver and bronze medals all foe the glory of their respective countries. What we often see in photos are these Olympians biting into their medals. Why do they do that?

Here’s why.

It may be considered an “unwritten should-do.” Biting down on their medal/s has become a common practice among Olympic athletes that even they cannot track down the trace of who first did that gesture. The biting of medals may have started years back when the medals were still gold; as this was a way for athletes to prove whether the gold is authentic or not. However, most medals to this date are made mostly of sterling silver.

According to Virtual Pinoy, this might signify the moment the Olympian asks “Is this for real?” After years of training for the sport that they love, some may find it unrealistic to finally win a medal not just for themselves but for the country they represent.

Some press photographers demand athletes to bite their medals. According to the Washington Post, for one, the biting of medals has become an obsession of photographers and look at it as an iconic shot.

David Wallechinsky, the president of the International Society of Olympic Historians and co-author of “The Complete Book of the Olympics,” doesn’t think that this is something athletes would probably do on their own but something photographers want to capture as it is something that they can probably sell.

That’s it. Another curious question now answered. So, the next time you see Olympians bite into their medals, you can share your knowledge with others on why they do that.