mp01
Lv 5
mp01 asked in SportsOlympics · 1 decade ago

Why do the Olympians bite their medals when photos are being taken of then on the podium?

Just wondering out of curiosity if there is any reason

7 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It an apparent attempt to test the authenticity of their prizes.

    In their pure forms, gold and silver happen to be very soft metals—soft enough that you should be able to mark them with your teeth. According to the Mohs hardness scale—which relates pairs of materials according to which one will scratch the other first—gold scores a 2.5 and silver, which is harder, a 2.7. Dental enamel rates somewhat higher, which means your teeth will scratch the precious metal and not vice-versa. (Don't try picking at your medal with your fingernails—they have a hardness of only 2.5.)

    In principle, you could use the "bite test" to see if a medal were pure, 24-karat gold, as opposed to a less valuable alloy. The less pure the gold, the harder it will be; you certainly wouldn't want to bite down on gold-plated iron. There are some exceptions to this rule: If you bit into your medal and really made a mark, you might be holding a painted hunk of lead. Lead has a Mohs rating of 1.5, which makes it even softer than gold.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The answer above is taken verbatim from Daniel Engber's article here: http://www.slate.com/id/2136438/

    The article also mentions that the gold medals are not actually pure gold anyway; they contain a lot of silver, and would probably feel the same as the silver medal in "bite tests".

    Rafael Nadal also bites his trophies when he wins tennis tournaments, so maybe it's just for the sake of style. Perhaps they want to simultaneously smile and "kiss" their award, so the bite is a happy compromise.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I have heard that people regret biting them because it leaves teeth marks in the medal which spoils the appearance. I think in the 1800s? or maybe the Depression? there was fake money that you could detect by biting it and that got into movies and cartoons and now we forget why people started doing it.

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  • Pens
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Gold is a soft metal. Maybe they're testing them to see if they're real gold. Just a wild guess.

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  • 1 decade ago

    its just a joke that people do cause you have gold medals appearance that have chocolate inside so when they get gold medal they joke about if its chocolate or gold when they bite it

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  • 1 decade ago

    to see if it feels like gold metal. If its made of chocolate then i thik theyll be angry!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    guess they want to know that they're not dreaming. they are really really living that moment

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