What’s the origin of Olympic gold medal? Why is it considered as the highest medal given for highest accomplishment of an athlete?
In addition to gold medal, silver and bronze has always been the prize when an athlete wins an Olympic game. The tradition of giving this medals dates back to the Summer Olympic (1904) held in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Trophies or cups were awarded for 1900 Olympics, whereas medals were awarded at the Olympic Games (1986) in Athens, Greece. However, there was no gold medal yet.
Olympic Gold medals are said to be made of at least of 92.5 percent silver and should consist of at least 6 grams gold. All of the Olympic gold medals are required to be at least 3mm thick and 60mm in diameter. The Olympic host will be held responsible for minting these medals. Since 1928 until 1968, the design was always similar; the front displayed a generic design by Giuseppe Cassioli – a Florentine artist, with a background of Rome’s Colloseum and text mentioning the city. The reverse, on the other hand, displayed another generic Nike design acknowledging an Olympic winner.
From the Summer Olympics in 1972 to 2000, the design of Cassioli remained on the obverse or front with a custom design on the reverse by the host city. A new design on the obverse was commissioned for the Summer Olympics in 2004 held in Athens. The 2008 medals of Beijing Olympics were 6mm thick and had a 70mm diameter, with the obverse showing a winged symbol of victory while the back displayed a symbol of Beijing Olympics through an inset jade circle.
Why Olympic gold medals?
The gold medal is definitely priceless to athletes who receive the valuable prize. But, what is the actual value of an Olympic gold medal?
When you say ‘gold medal’, the first image that will possibly come into your mind is an athlete who stands on the first place of the stage while wearing a precious smile and waving his hands in the air. They are artists with great pool of talent in the sports career they have chosen and dedicate their lives to achieve their passion. Gold medals recognize their achievements they rightly deserve.
In the field of sports, silver, bronze and gold has a memorable and positive impact in the lives of any athlete. But as you can see, gold medals offer the most notable meaning for an artist, because winning this award means being the best in your field. Your hard work, talent and geniuses will be paid off. Since the 18th century, gold medals have been given in the arts (ex. by the Royal Danish Academy), normally as a symbol of an accolade to give a brilliant student some financial freedom.
No matter what kind of sports career you are involved in, aiming for Olympic gold medals is not an impossible thing. With enough hard work and dedication, you can potentially go for the gold and make a name for yourself that any future sports enthusiasts will look up to.