This Is Why Olympians Bite Their Gold Medals

Have you ever wondered why Olympians bite their gold medals? I know I sure have. It turns out that there is a historical explanation as to why Olympic athletes put their medals in their mouth.

Bustle‘s “Today I Found Out” video broke down the history behind this odd Olympic tradition. To begin, you first need to know that those coveted gold medals are no longer made of solid gold anymore. For the 2016 Olympics, they are only 1.34 percent real gold. However, up until 1912, the medals were made of real gold.

Since gold is a fairly soft metal, Olympic athletes could leave actual bite marks in the medal itself in order to prove that it was real.

These days? Well, now it’s a fantastic photo opportunity for athletes and photographers alike.

“It’s become an obsession with the photographers,” David Wallenchinsky, the president of the International Society of Olympic Historians, told CNN. “I think they look at it as an iconic shot, as something that you can probably sell. I don’t think it’s something the athletes would probably do on their own.”

The more you know, right?

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