Olympic medals for most athletes, with the possible exception of footballers and professional boxers, are the highest recognition of their talent, the crown of a career, to which most of them seek their whole life. Their design and appearance were always given increased attention, many of them for a long time remained in the memory of not only athletes, but also ordinary fans.
As you know, Olympic medals appeared only with the revival of these sports competitions at the end of the XIX century. In 1894, two years before the Games in Athens, a special decision was made to award the winner and prize-winners, while the gold had to correspond to the first place, silver to the second, and bronze to the third.
According to the decision of the same Congress, gold Olympic medals, as well as silver medals, were to be made of silver of 925-th test. On top of them, unlike the awards for second place, they were to be covered with 6 grams of pure gold. Athletes who took third place, were to receive a medal of high-quality bronze.
The first Olympic medals designed by the Frenchman J. Chaplin, on one side were the image of Zeus with the goddess of victory, Nicky, and on the other - the Greek Acropolis with the inscription stating that its owner is the winner of the Olympic Games. Forty-three sets of awards were played in Athens-1896, the weight of one medal was only forty-seven grams.
Olympic medals, photos of which become public about a year before the games, are usually directly related to the traditions of the country in which these competitions are held. There are no uniform requirements for their appearance, much depends on the designer and the organizers. Even their form did not always represent a circle. For example, in 1900 awards were made in the form of small rectangles, on the sides of which depicted Nick and the same Acropolis.
Until 1960, Olympic medals were handed directly to the hands, but in Rome for the first time they were hung on bronze chains. Since that moment the awards ceremony has become more solemn and beautiful, and awards on the chest of athletes began to look more spectacular. After 38 years in the medals appeared an extra eye, in which the ribbon began to be cut. This tradition continues to this day.
Olympic medals, in addition to awards to the winner and prizewinners, include the famous Order of P. de Coubertin. It is considered the highest award of the International Olympic Committee and is awarded to those athletes and functionaries who have made a significant contribution to the development of the Olympic movement. In the sports hierarchy, this award is considered even more prestigious than the gold medal.
Olympic medals are awarded in a solemn atmosphere, while the hymn of the winner country always sounds, and its flag rises. The person who receives this award will remain forever in the annals of an outstanding sportsman of his generation, a man who has overcome himself.