Skip to main content

16 Little-Known Secrets Behind Olympic Medals

Medals have wildly different perks in different nations

Any South Korean athlete who wins an Olympic medal, for example, becomes exempt from the country’s mandatory two-year military service for males aged 18 to 35.

Gold medals can still be valuable though

Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko auctioned his gold medal for a children’s charity in 1996. A buyer purchased it for $1 million—then immediately returned the medal out of respect to Klitschko and his family.


The strangest material to become an Olympic medal?

Probably a meteorite. Ten gold medals in the 2014 Sochi Games contained pieces of the massive meteor that exploded over Russia in February, 2013.

Ireland’s first Olympic medal was for painting

Jack Butler Yeats—brother of poet W.B. Yeats—won a silver medal for his oil canvas, The Liffy Swim, in 1924. He was vanquished by a Luxembourgian artist who submitted two paintings of rugby, which hardly seems fair.

Gold, silver, and bronze have a hidden 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 saw man stray from piety, and the Bronze Age marks a period of war and violence. Supposedly we’re in the Iron Age now, but that’s all Greek to me.

For 76 years, Olympic medals were emblazoned with a big error 

Beginning in 1928, the front of every gold, silver, and bronze medal showed an image of the Roman Colosseum, despite the Olympic games’ Greek roots. This blunder was finally called to attention in 2004, when it was replaced with Athens' Panathenaic Stadium. 

The Rio 2016 medals will have unusual origins 

Per the Games’ official website, “About 30 percent of the silver used in the new medals will be recycled waste from leftover mirrors, solder and X-ray plates. Bronze medals will be made with copper waste from the national mint.” Even the ribbons holding the medals will be woven with recycled plastic from old bottles.









Popular posts from this blog

10 Bloodiest Battles of World War II

10. Battle of Monte Cassino, 17 January–18 May 1944: 185,000 casualtiesWaged between the Allies and the joint German and Italian troops in the early part of 1944, the Battle of Monte Cassino was one of the hardest fought battles of the Second World War. The main objective for the Allied forces fighting their way up from Southern Italy was to break through the Germans’ Gustav Line — a series of military fortifications running across Italy — and gain control of Rome. Named after the 1,400-year-old monastery of Monte Cassino that stood at the center of the German defensive line (and which was controversially destroyed by American bombers during the battle), the fighting was made up of four smaller battles that took place in January, February, March and May, respectively. The eventual capture of Rome came at a high price, with at least 125,000 casualties on all sides — and as many as 185,000 by some estimates. 
9. Battle of the Bulge, 16 December 1944–25 January 1945: 186,369 c…

The 10 most expensive cars in the world

10. $1.1 million - Rolls-Royce Phantom Serenity

Rolls-Royce Phantom Serenity is launched by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in 2015 at the Geneva Motor Show.
The interiors of the Phantom Serenity is inspired by Japanese design made of hand woven silk fabric. The exterior is painted with Mother of pearl three stage pearl effect paint. Phantom Serenity build on Phantom series II will be fitted with direct injection V12 engine and 8 speed automatic gearbox.
Phantom Serenity is expected to cost at £1 million.

9. $1.15 million - McLaren P1

The McLaren P1 is a limited production plug-in hybrid sports car by British car manufacturer McLaren Automotive. The so-called hypercar and concept car was capable of reaching speeds of 218 mph (351 km/h) with the limiter on. Debuted at the 2012 Paris Motor Show all 375 models were soon snatched up. Deliveries to retail customers began in the UK in October 2013.The entire P1 production of 375 units was sold out by November 2013. The production run ended in…

Amazing facts of WW2

The Second World War was arguably the most significant period of the 20th century. It brought about major leaps in technology and laid the groundwork that permitted post-war social changes including the end of European colonialism, the civil rights movement in the United States, and the modern women’s rights movement, as well as the programs for exploring outer space. The primary combatants were the Axis nations (Nazi Germany, Facist Italy, Imperial Japan and their smaller allies) and the Allied nations, led by Britain (and its Commonwealth nations), the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America. The Allies were the victors. Two superpowers, the USA and USSR, emerged from World War II to begin a Cold War with each other that would define much of the rest of the century.
Canada produced more trucks than Germany, Italy and Japan COMBINED. For every aircraft shot down in battle, another aircraft was lost due to a accident. The British were able t…