Winter Olympics: Why Do Olympians ‘Bite Down on Their Booty?’
By Meagan Hook | BSU at the Games
Chomping into the gold. Salivating over the silver. Biting a piece of the bronze.
One sees it with regularity during the medal ceremonies on Krasnodar-Teatralnaya Square at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.
What started this trend? Is it made of something delicious that only Olympians know? Is it some kind of well-kept secret if you bite the medal you get special powers?
”There are only so many things to do with a medal, and the excited champions are usually appeasing requests from the gallery of Olympic photographers when they bite down on their booty,” said David Wallechinsky, president of the Netherlands-based International Society of Olympic Historians.
It has been said in the past that when checking for counterfeit gold, inspectors would bite the metal to check for authenticity.
The authenticity of the 3.94-inch (100-millimeter) in diameter medals being handed out on Sochi's Medals Plaza is gold, silver and polycarbonate for gold medals; silver and polycarbonate for silver medals; and polycarbonate for bronze medals, according to the International Olympic Committee.
The assumption is Olympic athletes are doing the same thing, as if not believing those gold medals are finally theirs.
Why are these world-class athletes so narrow in the ways they display their hard-earned glory?
They deserve to show off their Olympic prize in varied ways and not be limited to just biting down.
Some suggestions for medal winners in posing with their newly-claimed hardware instead of just munching away:
- Everyone has seen lifeguards at the pool spinning their whistle on their fingers. Why not try that with the medal? As it spins, the shine will be reflected off the light and look beautiful.
- Fan themselves. Hold that medal as though it were a fan, and flutter it with the attitude of "too hot to handle, too cold to hold."
- Along those lines, grasping the medal fully with both hands and arms extended. The visual would be similar to Simba being presented to his new kingdom in "The Lion King."
- If being flashy is more a winner’s style, then they should take the coin-spin approach. Find a flat surface and spin the medal while standing prominently behind it. The medal doesn’t own you; you own the medal.
- Style is important, especially in Sochi. To be stylish and show off the victory, the Olympian should fashion it into a headband. A few staples or extra rubber bands can easily be used to shape the ribbon of the medal to the winner’s head. Instead of a flower on a basic headband it’s a shining gold medal.
- One last pose to consider would be to eat the medal. Put the whole thing in one’s mouth. Yes, it’s scandalous. But that’s what photographers want. It’s what the people want. The drama. The theatrics.
So, please Olympic victors and other medal winners, spice up those special moments. Biting is boring.
Give the crowd what it wants: more poses.