Ever wondered why Olympians bite their medals?

  • Biting down on their medal/s has become a common practice among Olympic athletes
  • This might signify the moment the Olympian asks “Is this for real?”
  • Some press photographers demand athletes to bite their medal

You’ve probably seen Olympic athletes biting on their medals. But when did this habit start or what could the explanation be behind this?

Image by Eyafaeb Mercado via Facebook

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.

The Washington Post also noted that the lore signifies the moment the olympian asks “Is this real life?”

NBC shared in 2016 that former Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin and former Olympic hurdler Dawn Harper Nelson said that the press photographers demanded that they bite their newly acquired prize.

“They’re screaming, ‘Look at me!’ You just have everyone yelling demands of ‘Smile!’ and ‘Bite your medal!'” Harper-Nelson explained. 

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.

Image by Eyafaeb Mercado via Facebook

Meanwhile, as per Insider, this habit of athletes still remains a mystery.

“We have no idea why they do it. As far as I know, it is an old habit,” secretary-general of the International Society of Olympic Historians said.

What do you think?

Image by Bob Oh via Facebook