It is always a delightful moment to witness Olympic athletes been presented with their gold medals, almost every athlete who finished first place at any Olympic event irrespective of their nationality seem to bite their gold medal once they step on the podium and pose for photographs.
Historically, biting of metal is meant to test the authenticity of precious metals or monetary coins, however since the use of coins for monetary over half a century. In the past, traders bite coins and precious metals in order to check whether it’s fake or real but as time evolved the need to test coins orally became unnecessary.
Another explanation to this myth is an obsession to the camera as the athletes usually bit the gold medals while posing for the camera, since the medal according to the international Olympics Committee assures that there are six grams of the winner’s medal). Gold medal winners may have the biting the medal just to show-off in front of the camera.
President of the International Society of Olympic Historians, David Wallechinsky confirms: “It’s become an obsession with the photographers, I think they look at it as an iconic shot, as something that you can probably sell. I don’t think it’s something the athletes would probably do on their own.”