People who were fascinatedly watching the Rio Olympics 2016 must have also noticed a very bizarre trend. That of Olympians biting their medals while posing for pictures. Simone Biles did it, Michael Phelps did it and closer home, Sakshi Malik did it too, among many others. Turns out, the act has a very interesting history behind it.
A common fact about the Olympics gold medals is that it is not made of pure solid gold. According to CNN, Olympic gold medals are actually made of 494g of silver and 6g of gold. The last time actual gold medals were given, was in 1912 during the Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden.
It is raining medals for USA and their athletes are leaving no stones unturned to grab even the slightest bit of opportunities. Same can be said for each and every players playing for their respective nations. Olympics is the greatest sporting event in the world and players consider themselves fortunate if they get qualified to play for their country.
In all of my previous articles time and again I have been emphasizing upon the true and real meaning of Olympics. Olympics is not about winning medal, but it’s about the story of people participating in it. The versatility and the common ground for cultures from all over the world to meet and respect each other and share mutual admiration. It is about the stories of underdogs who have faced against all the odd situations and came up with flying colors in their life.
The story goes way back till the time no one knows yet. If you have been following Game Of Thrones ( which is not even necessary ), you will get to know that biting gold was earlier considered as a testing method to know it’s real value and to check whether it is fake or real.
Gold is a very malleable and ductile compound. It is softer than our tooth enamel. Now here is the catch, if it is fairly pure then you are able to leave some teeth mark on it. Also biting of gold helps us know whether the coin is just gold plated or pure solid gold.
Nowadays, Gold Medals awarded in Olympics are not made up of pure solid Gold but it is gold plated. The last pure gold was awarded in 1912. Gold plated metals contains only 6 grams of pure gold which is plated on silver. The silver content is more than 92.5%.
For people who are doubting on human abilities to leave dents on so called metals, let me enlighten them a bit with Mohs Scale Of hardness. Human tooth enamel has a hardness rating of 5, whereas gold and silver has rating of around 2.5 and 3 respectively. So in this way, we are indeed efficient enough to atleast scratch the surface of the medals.
Now this doesn’t really mean that Olympians are doubting on the Authority about the authenticity of their medals. Over the course of time, it has become a custom for Olympians to playfully bite their medals and pose while doing this as this creates more interesting photos.
Well, I hope I was able to clear your doubts and if you have any more such interesting doubts or questions please write it down in the comment section or leave me a message in my Facebook Profile.