Olympic Medal History

Fascinated by the Olympic medal's history? The Olympics have become a worldwide symbol of goodwill between the countries. The Beijing Olympics were host to 10,000 athletes. Of those 10,000 athletes, 3,000 will obtain medals. While many symbols of the Olympics offer a lifelong endearment to those who compete, none are as important as the coveted medal.

The history of the Olympic medal: The history of the Olympic medal began in the late 700 B.C. Originally medals were not given. Instead olive wreaths were distributed to the top performing athletes. It wasn't until the late 1800's that medals were given in the Olympic games. During the first Olympics athletes were honored with a crown of olive branches, a diploma, and the first silver medal.

A historically changed appearance: Over the years the gold, silver, and bronze medal system was used. The medals were engraved with the name of the hosting country and the date. Throughout history, the appearance of the Olympic medal has changed. The completely gold medal has been replaced with a gold plated silver medal. Likewise, the silver and bronze medals have undergone quite a few visible changes. Medals are designed to embody the spirit of the hosting country.

The Historic Olympic Medal Ceremony:The medal ceremony immediately follows the event. The gold winner resides in the middle while the silver medal winner resides on the right of the gold winner and the silver on the left. This medal ceremony has become a solemn and sacred part of the Olympic medal history. The winners country national anthem is played throughout the ceremony.

Who has won the most medals: The United States has won more medals than any other country in the history of the Olympic games. They have won an amazing 2,549 medals. The next top performing country is the Soviet Union which has won 1,204 medals. The next closest performing countries are Great Britain with 737, France 730, Germany 719 and Sweden with 604 medals.

There are few things more coveted by an athlete then an Olympic Medal. Since the late 1800's, Olympic medals have been a symbol of excellence and hard work. With the many creative changes made to the medal to reflect each country, the world honors the history of Olympic medals and awaits the next Olympic medal ceremony.

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