Olympics organizers tell winners NOT to bite their medals on stage when posing for photos – because they’re actually made from recycled cell phones!
The win must taste pretty good — or at least it seems that way every time an Olympic winner bites their medal while posing for photos on the podium.
Now the organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have taken to Twitter to remind athletes that the medals “are not edible and are actually made from recycled electronic devices donated by the Japanese public.”
“So you don’t have to bite them… but we know you still do,” the cheeky tweet read.
With the Games taking place amid rising Covid numbers in Japan, the friendly advice came as overjoyed athletes from many countries copied the ancient tradition of taking a bite.
Britain’s Adam Peaty and Tom Daley each took a bite out of their gold medals, while the stars of Team USA and the entire Estonian fencing team all followed suit.
Team Great Britain’s Adam Peaty, 26, bit his gold medal after winning the 100m breaststroke on day three of the Tokyo Games
But maybe they wouldn’t if they realized how many pairs of hands their medals have endured. The Tokyo 2020 Medal Project took two years of national effort to collect enough gadgets to produce approximately 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals to be awarded during the Olympics.
The recycling campaign yielded a total of 32 kg of gold, 3,492.7 kg of silver and 2,199.9 kg of bronze from nearly 80 tons of old mobile phones, laptops and other devices.
Biting into gold dates back to World War I before the 1904 Olympics awarded the first solid gold medal. The last in 1912.
Team Italy’s Luigui Samele, 34, takes a bite of the silver medal he won in the men’s individual final Saber competition
Anastasija Zolotic, 18, poses on the podium after winning the first Olympic gold for women’s taekwondo for her country. Gold medalist Lee Kiefer, 27, of Team USA bit her medal during a women’s individual foil screen victory ceremony
Team Estonia poses at the awards ceremony of the women’s Epee Team competition after the fencing events in Tokyo. From left to right: gold medalists Julia Beljajeva, Irina Embrich, Erika Kirpu and Katrina Lehis
Traders bit into the metal to test its authenticity. Since gold is soft and malleable, the metal was probably real when a bite left nicks.
Modern Olympic medals are more like fool’s gold (they’re made of just one percent gold), and Olympians would break their teeth if they actually tried the bite test.
The drill has become more of a photo-worthy, medal-winning moment and was a trending podium pose at the Tokyo Games.
“It has become an obsession for the photographers,” Olympic historian David Wallechinsky said CNN.
“I think they see it as an iconic shot, as something you can probably sell. I don’t think the athletes would probably do it alone.’
Tokyo 2020 organizers took to Twitter to remind athletes that “the medals are not edible” as they are made from recycled electronic devices donated by the Japanese public.