What is an Olympic medal?

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When athletes participate in the Olympics, they join others from all over the world to celebrate the spirit of friendly competition. The winning athletes of each event are given Olympic medals, special awards attached to ribbon so they can be worn with pride as necklaces. Thousands of medals are handed out at each Olympic Games!

Medals are different colors depending on the victory of the athletes: gold for first place, silver for second and bronze for third. A variety of materials (including glass) have been used to create the medals, but metal is a major ingredient. For example, gold medals are often crafted of silver, with a layer of 24-karat gold on the outside. 

Both sides of an Olympic medal feature designs. Over the years, these medals have taken a variety of shapes, especially the medals of the Winter Olympic Games. Often round, they have even been square-, blob- and doughnut-shaped! 

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Further information

    Medals for the Summer Olympics often feature Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. After all, earning an Olympic medal is a true moment of victory. In fact, medals are awarded during the Victory Ceremonies following the events! 

    A great deal of work goes into creating each Olympic medal. For example, for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, the process of crafting each medal took about 10 hours!
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