If you’ve followed the Olympics at all you’ve seen photos of smiling Olympians biting down on their gold medals after winning. It freaks me out. Have you ever chewed on a piece of tin foil? With a filling? It gives me the jibblies just thinking about it. It’s also an odd tradition. What are you, 2 years old? You just achieved the height of athletic accomplishment and all you can focus on is a bizarre oral fixation culminating in you chewing on dirty metal?
I did a little research, and apparently the traditon started back in the day when real gold was used to make the medals. Since gold is soft, athletes would bite it to make sure it was real.
Sounds reasonable enough. But I bet there was at least one Olympian convinced his or her medal was filled with milk chocolate.
You’ve seen pieces of chocolate wrapped in gold tin foil before. Who’s to say there wasn’t one guy at home, maybe a larger dude, watching a gold medalist try to take a bite out of a medal only to think it had a chocolatey inside? During the medal ceremony he gets up off the couch, licking his lips. “That…that looks pretty good. I wonder if it also has a creamy filling? Maybe like a caramel or nougat deal? ” Then he starts training insanely hard just to make it to the Olympics to eat that medal. People keep telling him, “Dale, you can buy chocolate wrapped in gold foil at pretty much any CVS,” but he doesn’t care. Finally it becomes a tragic tale when he works his ass off, shreds pounds until he becomes an absolute specimen, wins the gold, but doesn’t want to eat his chocolate medal anymore due to his new healthy lifestyle.
He’s up there, crying.”All this work for nothing! I hate chocolate now! Hey, do you guys have any kale medals you can substitute for these chocolate ones?”
The presenter looks at him weird, saying, “No, but you do realize these don’t have chocolate in them either, right?”
I wonder if biting medals gets old for Michael Phelps. He’s bitten gold 23 times now. At this point he could write Yelp reviews about them. “The 2016 Rios were adequate, but had a little bit of an unpleasant after-taste. Didn’t have the texture of the 2012 Londons. Though it was better than the 2008 Beijings that tasted like smog. All told, 2 stars.”
I also read that apparently photographers now coach the athletes to bite the medals for the photo op. That makes what should be a once-in-a-lifetime, spontaneous moment feel so stilted and forced. Here’s my tip for any future gold medal winners: you want to stand out? Don’t bite your gold medal.
Suck on it.
And make unblinking eye, uncomfortable contact with the photographer while you do. Maybe let out a small moan. After he or she says, “You know what, I think I’m out of film,” before running away, you’ll be remembered as the most memorable gold winner in Olympic history. You’ll never be invited back, but you will be memorable.
If they handed out medals to email lists, mine would get at least a bronze, possible a silver. You should probably sign up for it.