Medals have historically been given as prizes in various types of competitive activities, especially athletics.
Traditionally, medals are made of the following metals:
- Gold (or another yellow metal, e.g., brass)
- Silver (or another grey metal, e.g., steel)
These metals designate the first three Ages of Man in Greek mythology: the Golden Age, when men lived among the gods, the Silver Age, where youth lasted a hundred years, and the Bronze Age, the era of heroes.
The custom of awarding the sequence of gold, silver, and bronze medals for the first three highest achievers dates from at least the 19th century, with the National Association of Amateur Athletes in the United States awarding such medals as early as 1884.
This standard was adopted for Olympic competition at the 1904 Summer Olympics. At the 1896 event, silver was awarded to winners and bronze to runners-up, while at 1900 other prizes were given, not medals.
Read more about this topic: Gold Medal
Famous quotes containing the word competition:
“All adults who care about a baby will naturally be in competition for that baby.... Each adult wishes that he or she could do each job a bit more skillfully for the infant or small child than the other.”
—T. Berry Brazelton (20th century)