Why Do Olympians Bite Their Medals?

In questi giorni di Olimpiadi lo stiamo vedendo fare un po’ a tutti, come da tradizione. Ma perché i vincitori delle gare morsicano le medaglie appena vinte? Una spiegazione esiste…

Watch the Olympics and you might notice a number of medalists gnawing on their gold or silver prize like an old-time prospector. Do they believe the International Olympic Committee is going to stiff them? Does anyone expect to bite into chocolate?

It turns out it might be because they’re following orders—specifically, the photographer’s. When Olympic winners pose for a victory image, a sea of photojournalists are snapping away and asking athletes to do something besides just stand there and smile. With no other props handy, winners have picked up the habit of nibbling on their medal to satisfy the photographic feeding frenzy.

If you’re wondering whether anyone has chipped a tooth doing this, the answer is—of course. In 2010, German luger David Moeller broke off the corner of his tooth chomping on his silver medal. Good thing his mother is a dentist.

Of course, biting on gold used to be a way to tell if it was genuine (the real thing will show slight bite marks). But most Olympians probably know by now that their gold medal is mostly made up of silver and copper. If they were actually solid gold, the prizes would cost the IOC about $17 million.

source: mentalfloss

The Olympics is all about sports. How much do you know about certain sports?

Match the words below with the following sports. Some words may belong to more than one sport.

1. athletics

2. basketball

3. fencing

4. football

5. gymnastics

6. horse riding

7. ice hockey

8. skiing

9. swimming

10. tennis

A) butterfly

B) court

C) doubles

D) downhill

E) field

F) finish

G) foul

H) freestyle

I) dribbling

J) gloves

K) goal

L) hammer

M) hurdles

N) kick-off

O) mask

P) net

Q) pommel horse

R) puck

S) still rings

T) racket

U) relay

V) rink

W) saddle

X) sabre

Y) spring board

Z) track


1 – E, F, L, M, U, Z

2 – B, G, I

3 – J, O, X

4 – E, G, I, K, N, P

5 – Q, S, Y

6 – F, J, M, W

7 – J, K, R, V

8 – D, F, H

9 – A, F, H, U, Z

10 – B, C, P, T

to bite – morsicare

to gnaw – masticare

prize – premio

prospector – cercatore d’oro

to stiff – ingannare, imbrogliare

to expect – aspettarsi qualcosa

to turn out – andare a finire, risultare

to follow orders – seguire gli ordini

to pose for sg – mettersi in posa per qualcuno

to snap – scattare foto

prop – accessori

to pick up a habit – prendere l’abitudine

to nibble – mangiucchiare

frenzy – frenesia

to chip a tooth – scheggiare un dente

luger – tiratore

to chomp – masticare

dentist – dentista

genuine – genuino

bite mark – segno dei denti

silver – argento

copper – bronzo

solid gold – oro puro


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