By Karus Chains …..
At Karus Chains we love to write about silver and gold chains for men but even we realize that there are only so many interesting articles that can be written about gold chains.
So with the Rio Olympics starting in just a few short weeks, we decided to do a little bit of research on the gold medal.
We hope that you enjoy the graphic and the additional information that we include within this article.
While the composition of modern-day gold medals is 525g of silver and 6g of gold, this was not always the case. In the Olympic Games of 1904, 1908 and 1912 the medals were made of pure gold.
A total of 2,488 medals will be awarded at the Rio Summer Olympics with 812 gold medals, 812 silver medals and 864 bronze medals
Before the sale of Jesse Owen’s gold medal, the previous record was $310,700 paid for USA ice hockey player Mark Wells’ gold medal from the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games.
If the Rio medals were made of pure gold then their value, based on today’s gold prices, would be approx. US$21,000.
Some Countries Pay for a Gold Medal
Most countries, but not all, reward their athletes financially for winning medals and the payments vary from country to country. For example the USA pays $25,000 for each gold medal while the UK does not give any cash prize to its medal winners.
Most Gold Medals Won by a Man
Michael Phelps 18 gold medals were won in three separate Olympics: six in Athens 2004, eight in Beijing 2008 and four in London 2012.
Most Gold Medals Won by a Woman
Larisa Latynina’s nine gold medals were won in three separate Olympics: four in Melbourne 1956, three in Rome 1960 and two in Tokyo 1964.
Gold Medals Won at Most Olympics
Aladár Gerevich won a total of seven gold medals in six different Olympics from Los Angeles in 1932 to Rome in 1960, an unprecedented 28 years apart.
3+ Gold Medals
The USA has the most three or more gold-medal-winning Olympians with a total of 125.
Country with Most Gold Medals
The USA is well ahead here with 976 gold medals, with the Soviet Union in second place with 395 gold medals and the UK in third place with 236 gold medals.
Least Gold Medals
Of the 75 countries that have failed to win a gold medal in the Olympics, Monaco has competed in the most summer Olympics – 19 in total, while three countries have competed in only one summer Olympics (North Borneo, Saar and South Yemen).
Note: For the youngest/oldest gold medalist categories included in the infographic we limited the winners to those who won only in individual events.
Youngest Male Gold Medalist
There is speculation that the youngest male gold medalist ever, including gold medals won in team events, was won by a boy as young as seven who was the coxswain in the winning Dutch pair oars boat in the 1900 Paris Olympics.
Youngest Female Gold Medalist
The youngest female gold medalist, including gold medals won in team events, was Donna Elizabeth de Varona from the USA. She competed in the relay heats for the 4 x 100m freestyle swimming in the 1960 Rome Olympics. She was 13 years and 129 days old.
Oldest Male Gold Medalist
Oscar Swahn is the oldest male gold medalist even when we include team events. The oldest competitor in the Olympics was Arthur von Pongrasz who was 72 years old when he represented Austria in dressage in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Oldest Female Gold Medalist
The oldest female gold medalist when we include team events is Lida Peyton “Eliza” Pollock from the USA. She was 63 years and 333 days old when she won gold for the women’s team round in archery in the 1904 St. Louis Olympics.
There are dozens of athletes and events that we could have chosen for a special award.
In terms of great Olympic moments of sportsmanship that involved a gold medal, one of our favorites is the story of British fencer Judy Guinness in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.
During her final with Ellen Preis of Austria, Guinness noticed that the judges had missed two of Preis’ touches. She immediately informed them and as a result Preis won the gold medal while Guinness won silver.
There are numerous instances throughout Olympic history when gold medals were won in very suspicious circumstances. One of the most obvious and remarkable examples came in the Seoul Olympics in 1988. South Korean boxer Park Si-Hun was judged to have won the gold medal by beating Roy Jones Jr. of the USA. This is despite the fact that Jones Jr. landed 86 punches while Si-Hun landed just 32 punches.
Even more perplexing, Jones Jr. was presented with the Val Barker Trophy for being the most impressive boxer at the games.
The three judges involved in the final were later suspended when it was revealed that they had been wined and dined by South Korean officials before the fight.
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