• 1

    SimondB

    1. because to put in any other part of the body would not be in the olympic spirit

    2. They are chocolate covered in tin foil

    3. The japanese atheletes do it as a way of counterbalancing the mercury in their systems

    4. Thy are very very hungry

  • -6

    gaijinfo

    They've heard rumors (which are true, by the way) that the actual precious metal content of the metals (e.g percent gold, percent silver, etc) is only about 2%.

    They want to see what happens when they scrape off the gold painting.

  • 0

    GW

    checking for chocolate!

  • -2

    Serrano

    Does this question really have to be asked? Do some people actually not know why Olympic athletes bite their medals? Heck, if I ever won a medal, I'd be breaking my teeth on it!

  • 3

    edojin

    When Japan's Kaori Matsumoto received her gold medal in judo's 57-kilogram category, she held the medal up under her chin, then shook her head "no." Apparently the photographers had wanted her to bite her medal, and she refused. If this is actually what happened, I applaud her. I'm not really in favor of chomping down on a medal ...

    Probably most of the medalists bite their medals because that is what the photographers want. Does it make a good picture? It probably did when it first happened way back when. But after all these years and many Olympics, it gets to be old hat ...

  • -4

    Probie

    Because they think that pretending to check if it's chocolate is funny.

    It isn't.

  • 1

    mrkobayashi

    I believe it became popular with Japanese female athletes after Q-chan did it in the Sydney games.

  • 4

    warnerbro

    Biting is ancient custom to test whether a metal is gold or dross. Gold is soft and easier to indent. Therefore, is utterly ridiculous for silver and bronze medalists to bite their medals. At this point, it's like the peace sign, or is it victory sign? that children make when posing for a picture. They have no idea what it means and look exceedingly foolish doing it.

  • 2

    lucabrasi

    @warnerbro

    Come back and lecture us when you've won a gold or two yourself. Until then, let the young folk have their fun.

  • -8

    BertieWooster

    They thought it was a Goldburger, sponsored by McDonalds?

  • -2

    warnerbro

    In fact, I have a few boxes full of them. Didn't make it to the Olympics, but competed in many international meets.

  • 0

    Lowly

    I think that warnerbro is right,

    at many times in history when neighboring civilizations, or even neighboring city-states, had close economic ties, their various currencies would be used interchangeably and/or exchanged frequently. Currencies were all based on weight of precious metal. When dealing with a currency from "nearby" (or even your own for that matter) the clerk may not know the visual cues to look for in a fake. And as warnerbro and others said, it was an easy test to determine true gold if it was soft enough to bite.

    So the Olympians bite to say "Yeah, it's real!"

  • -7

    AlternateUniverse

    Biting is a test to determine whether an object is pure gold or not. Since the Olympic gold medals are not, and don't pass this test, its a statement on the shabbiness and greed of the IOC. The silver and bronze medalists are merely showing solidarity with and sympathy for the gold medalists.

    These days, the Olympics could easily afford to hand out real gold medals. But they don't for the reasons I have stated.

  • 1

    basroil

    AlternateUniverseAug. 12, 2012 - 10:56PM JST

    Biting is a test to determine whether an object is pure gold or not. Since the Olympic gold medals are not, and don't pass this test, its a statement on the shabbiness and greed of the IOC. The silver and bronze medalists are merely showing solidarity with and sympathy for the gold medalists.

    Fully correct there! On the other hand, they should stop already because the medals probably are full of heavy metals and will poison them in the long run.

  • -1

    It"S ME

    Same way the Oscars/Academy Awards are just gold-plated. Most likely copper underneath all of them.

    So the real gold/silver contents is small, similar as a medium sized gold-coin can cover a life-sized statue of a horse and rider.

  • 0

    doedel

    This topic had me busy too. It certainly can't be about showing how well Japanese teeth have developed. Besides that, I would expect many bacteria on these medals after they went to many hands.

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