Why do Olympic athletes bite their medals?

There are things that make sense in sports, but this is not one of those things, at least on the surface.

In the Olympics – the most regal of sporting events – there are the opening ceremonies, the Olympic rings, the torch and oath, but one of the most bizarre traditions in the Olympics is for podium placers to take an inexplicable bite of their medal.

But there is an interesting story behind the medal munching act.

In earlier times, money handlers would bite down on coins to check if they were counterfeit. Pure gold and silver is soft enough to make teeth marks if bitten into. At some point in Olympic history, athletes began this tradition and is now one of the most looked forward to moments of winning a medal. That, and being the best in your country and in the world.


McDonalds did a nice job at showcasing this tradition, and you’d never know it was a Mickey D’s commercial until the very end. Sports Studio provided various USA garments for the spot.