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Olympic Medals: Interesting Facts

January 24, 2014 2 min read

Image credit: kremlin.ru

With the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi right around the corner, it got me wondering about the three medals that are awarded to the top three athletes in each sport.  Mostly, I began to wonder if the gold medals are solid gold.  With gold prices being so high, that would be pretty awesome if they were actually solid gold.  Obviously, I’m sure the athletes are more concerned with actually winning the medal versus what the medal is actually made up of.  I don’t think they would train as hard as they do just to win a solid gold medal.  Obviously they train as hard as they do to be the best in the world in their sport!

Just for fun though, let’s learn more about the three Olympic medals!  Medals are awarded to the top three competitors in each event.  First place gets gold, second place gets silver and third place gets bronze.  Medals can vary slightly and the design and actual composition of each medal is determined by the Olympic host city. There are guidelines that must be followed, though.  For example, the diameter of each medal must be at least 60mm with a minimum thickness of 3mm.  Gold medals and silver medals are both made up of silver and the only difference is that gold medals are plated with at least 6 grams of pure gold.  Bronze medals mostly consist of copper, tin and zinc.  Interesting as I would have thought that gold medals would have more gold to them but I guess price is a huge factor.  I figured gold medals weren’t solid gold but I thought they would have more than 6 grams of plated gold.  Either way, I think the athlete that wins gold doesn’t really care what the medal is made of… I think what matters to them is that they are #1 in the world in their sport.

Are you planning on watching the 2014 Winter Olympics? Which events are you looking forward to the most?


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