Gold medal

A gold medal is a medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture.

Since the eighteenth century, gold medals have been awarded in the arts, for example, by the Royal Danish Academy, usually as a symbol of an award to give an outstanding student some financial freedom. Others offer only the prestige of the award. Many organizations now award gold medals either annually or extraordinarily, including UNESCO and various academic societies.

While some gold medals are solid gold, others are gold-plated or silver-gilt, like those of the Olympic Games, the Lorentz Medal, the United States Congressional Gold Medal and the Nobel Prize medal. Nobel Prize medals consist of 18 karat green gold plated with 24 karat gold. Before 1980 they were struck in 23 karat gold.

Military origins

Before the establishment of standard military awards, e.g., the Medal of Honor, it was common practice to have a medal specially created to provide national recognition for a significant military or naval victory or accomplishment. In the United States, Congress would enact a resolution asking the President to reward those responsible. The commanding officer would receive a gold medal and his officers silver medals.[1]

Competition medals

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A medal on a ribbon designed to be worn around the winner's neck.

Medals have historically been given as prizes in various types of competitive activities, especially athletics.

Traditionally, medals are made of the following metals:

  1. Gold (or another yellow metal, e.g., brass)
  2. Silver (or another grey metal, e.g., steel)
  3. Bronze

Occasionally, Platinum medals can be awarded.

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 18th century, with the National Association of Amateur Athletes in the United States awarding such medals as early as 1884.[2]

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.

Olympic Games

Losanna, museo olimpico, medaglie di 1896 atene
At the 1896 Summer Olympics, the winners received a silver medal. Since 1904, the winners receive a gold medal, the second-place finishers receive a silver medal and the third-place finishers receive a bronze medal.

At the modern Olympic Games, winners of a sporting discipline receive a gold medal in recognition of their achievement.

At the Ancient Olympic Games only one winner per event was crowned with kotinos, an olive wreath made of wild olive leaves from a sacred tree near the temple of Zeus at Olympia. Aristophanes in Plutus makes a remark why victorious athletes are crowned with wreath made of wild olive instead of gold.[3] Herodotus describes a story that explains why there were only a few Greek men at the Battle of Thermopylae since "all other men were participating in the Olympic Games" and that the prize for the winner was "an olive-wreath". When Tigranes, an Armenian general learned this, he uttered to his leader: "Good heavens! what kind of men are these against whom you have brought us to fight? Men who do not compete for possessions, but for honour".[4] Hence medals were not awarded at the ancient Olympic Games.

At the 1896 Summer Olympics, winners received a silver medal and the second-place finisher received a bronze medal. In 1900, most winners received cups or trophies instead of medals. The next three Olympics (1904, 1908, 1912) awarded the winners solid gold medals, but the medals themselves were smaller. The use of gold rapidly declined with the onset of the First World War and also with the onset of the Second World War.[5] The last series of Olympic medals to be made of solid gold were awarded at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden.

Olympic Gold medals are required to be made from at least 92.5% silver, and must contain a minimum of 6 grams of gold.[6] All Olympic medals must be at least 60mm in diameter and 3mm thick.[6] Minting the medals is the responsibility of the Olympic host. From 1928 through 1968 the design was always the same: the obverse showed a generic design by Florentine artist Giuseppe Cassioli of Greek goddess Nike with Rome's Colloseum in the background and text naming the host city; the reverse showed another generic design of Nike saluting an Olympic champion.

From the 1972 Summer Olympics through 2000, Cassioli's design (or a slight modification) remained on the obverse with a custom design by the host city on the reverse. Noting that Cassioli's design showed a Roman amphitheater for what originally were Greek games, a new obverse design was commissioned for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. For the 2008 Beijing Olympics medals had a diameter of 70mm and were 6mm thick, with the front displaying a winged figure of victory and the back showed a Beijing Olympics symbol surrounded by an inset jade circle.

Winter Olympics medals have been of more varied design. The silver and bronze medals have always borne the same designs.

Other gold medal awards

The award of a gold medal, often coupled with the award of silver and bronze medals to the next place finishers, has been adopted in other sports competitions and in other competitive fields, such as music and writing, as well as some competitive games. Typically bronze medals are awarded only to third place, but in some contests there is some variety, such as International barbershop music contests where bronze medals are awarded for third, fourth, and fifth place.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Polk County History site "Gold Medals All Around"". Polkcounty.org. Archived from the original on 2004-11-06.
  2. ^ Brooklyn Eagle, 15 August 1884 "Preparing for the Championship" Archived 1 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Aristophanes, Plutus, 585.
  4. ^ Herodotus, The Histories, Hdt. 8.26
  5. ^ Melonyce McAfee (August 10, 2012). "Why Olympians bite their medals". CNN. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Jennifer Rosenberg. "Interesting Olympic Facts". Retrieved December 12, 2013.

External links

China women's national volleyball team

The China women's national volleyball team (Chinese: 中国国家女子排球队, or 中国女排 for short) represents the People's Republic of China in international volleyball competitions and friendly matches, governed by Chinese Volleyball Association. They are one of the leading and most successful squads in women's international volleyball and a worshipful sports team in China , having won nine championships titles in the three major international competitions of volleyball, including World Cup four times (1981, 1985, 2003 and 2015), World Championship twice (1982, 1986) and Olympic Game titles three times (1984, 2004 and 2016). The current head coach is Lang Ping, executive coach is An Jiajie. The team now ranks the first place in the FIVB World Ranking.

China took five consecutive World titles in the 1980s. Although it experienced an unstable development in the 1990s, the team won the World Cup title in 2003 and 2015, also captured the gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics and 2016 Summer Olympics. In 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016, the Chinese women's volleyball team had won four times the "Best team" award in the CCTV sportsmanship competition.

Culturally, women's volleyball fielded the first ever Chinese team to be successful on a global scale, and was of great importance in the early 1980s, when the team was largely followed in China. In the early 1980s, China was still poor and much in need of development to improve people's lives, with hard-working and fighting spirit, the Chinese women's volleyball team won three and five consecutive championships, such achievement became the role model and pride of the Chinese and was also the symbol of China's economic take-off in the 80s.

Congressional Gold Medal

A Congressional Gold Medal is an award bestowed by the United States Congress. The Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian awards in the United States. It is awarded to persons "who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient's field long after the achievement." However, "There are no permanent statutory provisions specifically relating to the creation of Congressional Gold Medals. When a Congressional Gold Medal has been deemed appropriate, Congress has, by legislative action, provided for the creation of a medal on an ad hoc basis." U.S. citizenship is not a requirement.

Cuba men's national volleyball team

The Cuba men's national volleyball team (Spanish: Selección masculina de voleibol de Cuba) is the national team of Cuba.

Cuba in the 1976 Summer Olympics won the bronze medal. Other achievements of the team winning one World League, one World Grand Champions Cup and fifteen NORCECA Championships.

Cuba have attained two silver and two bronze World Championship medals and have won the NORCECA Championship 15 times.

East Germany at the 1976 Summer Olympics

Athletes from East Germany (German Democratic Republic) competed at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 267 competitors, 154 men and 113 women, took part in 139 events in 17 sports.

General Mills

General Mills, Inc., is an American multinational manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores. It is headquartered in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. The company markets many well-known North American brands, including Gold Medal flour, Annie's Homegrown, Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Colombo, Totino's, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Häagen-Dazs, Cheerios, Trix, Cocoa Puffs, and Lucky Charms. Its brand portfolio includes more than 89 other leading U.S. brands and numerous category leaders around the world.

Gold Medal of Military Valour

The Gold Medal of Military Valour (Italian: Medaglia d'oro al valor militare) is an Italian medal established on 21 May 1793 by King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia "....per bassi ufficiali e soldati che avevano fatto azioni di segnalato valore in guerra" (for deeds of outstanding gallantry in war by junior officers and soldiers).

The face of the medal displayed the profile of the king, and on its reverse was a flag decoration and the words "al valore" (for valour).

On 14 August 1815, Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia replaced it with the Military Order of Savoy ("l'Ordine militare di Savoia"), now known as the Military Order of Italy.

Charles Albert of Sardinia revived it on March 26, 1833, and added to it the Silver and Bronze medals. These had, on their faces, the coat of arms of Savoy with laurel branches, the royal crown, and the words "al valor militare" (for military valor). On the reverse were two laurel branches enclosing the name of the decorated soldier, and the place and date of the action.

With the proclamation of the Republic on June 2, 1946, the coat of arms of the House of Savoy was replaced with the emblem of the Italian Republic.For actions performed by individuals during World War I, the Gold Medal was awarded some 368 times, as well as 37 times to military units, and once to the Unknown Soldier. Only four of the individual awards went to foreigners, one of these being Czar Nicholas II of Russia. The other three were for acts of gallantry in which the recipient was killed in action or died from his injuries (the Frenchmen John O'Byrne and Roland Morillot, and the American Coleman deWitt). The Gold Medal of Military Valor was one of the most parsimoniously awarded medals of World War I, granted less frequently than even the Victoria Cross which was awarded 628 times.During World War II the medal was awarded to soldiers of the Royal Italian Army; after these forces were reorganized following the Armistice with Italy in 1943, it was awarded to members of the Allies-supporting Italian Co-Belligerent forces. The Axis-affiliated Italian Social Republic created another design of the medal, with a Gladius replacing the arms of Savoy, for members of the Esercito Nazionale Repubblicano from 1943 to 1945. This version of the award was not given recognition by the postwar Italian government.The Gold Medal for Military Valor is still awarded by the Italian state, and it, along with Silver and Bronze medals for Military Valor as well as the "Croce di Guerra al Valor Militare" (War Cross of Military Valour - which can only be awarded in time of war) is established by the Royal Decree of 4 November 1932, in which the purpose of these medals is defined as "To distinguish and publicly honor the authors of heroic military acts, even ones performed in time of peace, provided that the exploit is closely connected with the purposes for which the Armed Forces are constituted, whatever may be the condition or quality of the author."

Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society

The Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) is the highest award given by the RAS. The RAS Council have "complete freedom as to the grounds on which it is awarded" and as such it can be awarded for any reason. Past awards have been given for "outstanding personal researches in the fields of astronomy and geophysics" as well as general contributions to astronomy and geophysics "that may be made through leadership in research programmes, through education and through scientific administration". It has been awarded both for research that has taken a lifetime (it has most frequently been given to recognise an extraordinary lifetime achievement) and for specific pieces of research.

Michael Phelps

Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985) is an American retired competitive swimmer and the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (23), Olympic gold medals in individual events (13), and Olympic medals in individual events (16). When he won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps broke fellow American swimmer Mark Spitz's 1972 record of seven first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Phelps had already tied the record of eight medals of any color at a single Games by winning six gold and two bronze medals. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Phelps won four gold and two silver medals, and at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he won five gold medals and one silver. This made him the most successful athlete of the Games for the fourth Olympics in a row.Phelps is the long course world record holder in the men's 100 meter butterfly, 200 meter butterfly, and 400 meter individual medley as well as the former long course world record holder in the 200 meter freestyle and 200 meter individual medley. He has won 82 medals in major international long course competition, of which 65 were gold, 14 silver, and 3 bronze, spanning the Olympics, the World Championships, and the Pan Pacific Championships. Phelps's international titles and record-breaking performances have earned him the World Swimmer of the Year Award eight times and American Swimmer of the Year Award eleven times, as well as the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award in 2012 and 2016. Phelps earned Sports Illustrated magazine's Sportsman of the Year award due to his unprecedented Olympic success in the 2008 Games.

After the 2008 Summer Olympics, Phelps started the Michael Phelps Foundation, which focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles. Phelps retired following the 2012 Olympics, but he made a comeback in April 2014. At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, his fifth Olympics, he was selected by his team to be the flag bearer of the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics Parade of Nations. He announced his second retirement on August 12, 2016, having won more medals than 161 countries. He is often considered the greatest swimmer of all time.

Monica Puig

Monica Puig Marchán (born September 27, 1993) is a Puerto Rican professional tennis player and the reigning Olympic champion. She is also a Central American and Caribbean champion and Pan American silver medalist. She is the first athlete to win an Olympic gold medal representing Puerto Rico.

Having turned professional in 2010, Puig has won two WTA singles titles and six ITF singles titles. On 26 September 2016, she reached her career-high singles ranking of world No. 27. On 25 May 2015, she peaked at No. 210 in the doubles rankings.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Puig made history by becoming the first Puerto Rican athlete to win the gold medal and the ninth overall medalist for that delegation. With the feat, she also became the first Latin American champion in the women's singles discipline, and is the only unseeded female player to win the gold medal since the reintroduction of tennis in 1988.

National Film Awards

The National Film Awards is the most prominent film award ceremonies in India. Established in 1954, it has been administered, along with the International Film Festival of India and the Indian Panorama, by the Indian government's Directorate of Film Festivals since 1973.Every year, a national panel appointed by the government selects the winning entry, and the award ceremony is held in New Delhi, where the President of India presents the awards. This is followed by the inauguration of the National Film Festival, where the award-winning films are screened for the public. Declared for films produced in the previous year across the country, they hold the distinction of awarding merit to the best of Indian cinema overall, as well as presenting awards for the best films in each region and language of the country. Due to the national scale of the National Film Awards, it is considered the Indian equivalent of the American Academy Awards.

Royal Gold Medal

The Royal Gold Medal for architecture is awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects on behalf of the British monarch, in recognition of an individual's or group's substantial contribution to international architecture. It is given for a distinguished body of work rather than for one building, and is therefore not awarded for merely being currently fashionable.

The medal was first awarded in 1848 to Charles Robert Cockerell, and its winners include some of the most influential architects of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (1864), Frank Lloyd Wright (1941), Le Corbusier (1953), Walter Gropius (1956), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1959) and Buckminster Fuller (1968). Already with the second recipient, the Italian Luigi Canina in 1849, the award went international.

Not all recipients were architects. Also recognised were engineers such as Ove Arup (1966) and Peter Rice (1992) who undoubtedly played an outstanding role in the realisation of some of the 20th century's key buildings all over the world. Repeatedly, the prize was awarded to influential writers on architecture, including scholars such as the Rev Robert Willis (1862), Sir Nikolaus Pevsner (1967) and Sir John Summerson (1976) as well as theoreticians such as Lewis Mumford (1961) and Colin Rowe (1995). It honoured archaeologists such as Sir Austen Henry Layard (1868), Karl Richard Lepsius (1869), Melchior de Vogüé (1879), Heinrich Schliemann (1885), Rodolfo Lanciani (1900) and Sir Arthur Evans (1909), and painters such as Lord Leighton (1894) and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1906). Another notable exception was the 1999 award to the city of Barcelona.

Russia men's national volleyball team

The Russia men's national volleyball team is governed by the Russian Volleyball Federation and takes part in international volleyball competitions. Russia won one Olympic Games championship in 2012, two World Cup 1999 and 2011.

FIVB considers Russia as the inheritor of the records of Soviet Union (1948–1991) and CIS (1992).

The USSR Volleyball Federation joined the FIVB in 1948, a year after the foundation of the international governing body. The following year they sent a team to compete in the first FIVB Men’s World Championship and have been dominating the international scene ever since, having won six World Championships, six World Cups and 14 European Championships. All Olympic medals of the Soviet Union were inherited by Russia, but not combined together with the medal count of the Russian Federation.

Russia women's national volleyball team

The Russia women's national volleyball team is governed by the Russian Volleyball Federation and takes part in international volleyball competitions. They played from 1949 to 1991 as the Soviet Union and as CIS in 1992.

All Summer and Winter Olympic medals of the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire were inherited by Russia, but not combined together with the medal count of the Russian Federation.

United States at the 1936 Summer Olympics

The United States competed at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. The Americans were second in the medals table to Germany. 359 competitors, 313 men and 46 women, took part in 127 events in 21 sports.

United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics

The United States was the host nation of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. It was the nineteenth time that Team USA participated, having boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics. 522 competitors, 339 men and 183 women, took part in 217 events in 25 sports.These Olympic Games were unique for the United States in that the host state was California, the home state of the country's president, Ronald Reagan, who himself opened the Games, becoming the first American president to open a Summer Olympics, and also any Olympic games in the United States. Reagan was governor of the state from 1967 to 1975. It was not until the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City that an American president opened a Winter Olympics in the United States.

The United States topped the medal count for the first time since 1968, winning a record 83 gold medals and surpassing the Soviet Union’s total of 80 golds at the 1980 Summer Olympics.

United States men's national basketball team

The USA Basketball Men's National Team, commonly known as the United States Men's National Basketball Team, is the most successful team in international competition, winning medals in all eighteen Olympic tournaments it has entered, coming away with fifteen golds. In the professional era, the team won the Olympic gold medal in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012, and 2016. Two of its gold medal-winning teams were inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in August 2010 – the 1960 team, which featured six Hall of Famers (4 players, 2 coaches), and the 1992 "Dream Team", featuring 14 Hall of Famers (11 players, 3 coaches). The team is currently ranked first in the FIBA World Rankings.

Traditionally composed of amateur players, the U.S. dominated the first decades of international basketball, winning a record seven consecutive Olympic gold medals. However, by the end of the 1980s, American amateurs were no longer competitive against seasoned professionals from the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.In 1989, FIBA modified its rules and allowed USA Basketball to field teams with National Basketball Association players. The first such team, known as the "Dream Team", won the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, being superior in all matches. With the introduction of NBA players, the team was able to spark a second run of dominance in the 1990s.

Facing increased competition, the U.S. failed to win a medal at the 2002 FIBA World Championship, finishing sixth. The 2004 Olympic team, being depleted by a number of withdrawals, lost three games on its way to a bronze medal, a record that represented more losses in a single year than the country's Olympic teams had suffered in all previous Olympiads combined.

Determined to put an end to these failures, USA Basketball initiated a long-term project aimed at creating better, more cohesive teams. The U.S. won its first seven games at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan before losing against Greece in the semi-finals; ending the competition with the bronze medal. The team won gold two years later – at the 2008 Summer Olympics – in a dominant fashion. This success was followed up at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, where despite fielding a roster featuring no players from the 2008 Olympic team, the U.S. did not lose a single game en route to defeating host Turkey for the gold medal.

The Americans continued this streak of dominance in the 2010s by going undefeated and capturing gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and 2014 FIBA World Cup. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, the team, led by Mike Krzyzewski for a record third time, convincingly won its fifteenth gold medal, making him the most decorated coach in USA Basketball history.

United States men's national volleyball team

The United States men's national volleyball team represents the country in international competitions and friendly matches. The team is governed by USA Volleyball.

USA won 5 Olympic medals, including three golds.

X Games

The X Games is an annual extreme sports event hosted, produced, and broadcast by ESPN. Coverage is also shown on ESPN's sister network, ABC. The inaugural X Games were held during the summer of 1995 in Newport, Rhode Island. Participants compete to win bronze, silver, and gold medals, as well as prize money.

The competition often features new tricks such as Tony Hawk's 900 in skateboarding, Travis Pastrana's double backflip in freestyle motocross, Heath Frisby's first ever snowmobile front flip in Snowmobile Best Trick, and Torstein Horgmo's first landed triple cork in a snowboard competition. Concurrent with competition is the "X Fest" sports and music festival, which offers live music, athlete autograph sessions, and interactive elements.

The X Games gained media exposure due to their big name sponsors, top-tier athletes, and consistent fan attendance. As the Journal of Sport Management (2006) explains, Generation X and Generation Y are the two demographics most highly valued by marketers. This creates a broad approach on marketing towards that certain demographic, which is why the X Games marketing and economic outlook is so "out of the box". According to a 2008 report by ESPN, in 1997, the Winter X Games inaugural year, 38,000 spectators attended the four-day event. In 1998, the attendance dropped to 25,000 spectators. But just two years later, a record attendance of 83,500 people attended the Winter X Games' East Coast debut. The X Games and Winter X Games continue to grow with the popularity of action sports and the athletes who compete in them.

As part of the X Games, there have been performances by various rock bands over the years, as well as a DJ being on-site at all events. The X Games have made it a point since its founding to stage an eco-friendly event. Such measures include using biodiesel fuel in their vehicles and organizing recycling campaigns.The X Games has never carried out drug tests on competitors, which has been criticized by the World Anti-Doping Agency director general David Howman and the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

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