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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Strange Olympic ritual- Medal Biting

Medal Biting — The Quirk that Spans all Olympic Sports.

It appears no medal is so precious that it cannot be blithely sandwiched between a toothy grin. But why, why do medalists from every sport, and from every country bite their medals on the podium? According to Summer Sanders, who won four medals in the '92 Games, "It's not your idea. It's the journalists, the people taking the pictures that say 'Bite your medal! Give your medal a bite!'...So we do." The origin of the oddity lies in the notion of testing the purity of the medal. In their pure forms, gold and silver are both soft enough to mark with your teeth. But according to Sanders, it's the reporters that keep this tradition alive, because it makes for a good picture. The iconic medal bite is a more personal shot; it's a bit less composed; it helps the subject connect with the audience.

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