Here's why Olympians bite their medals

Picture: Damien Meyer/Getty
Picture: Damien Meyer/Getty

It's become synonymous with the Olympic Games. You know the photo - the one where the sportsperson takes their shiny new medal and chomps down, mouth wide open in a grin.

The gesture's been around for a while.

Here is France's track cyclist Florian Rousseau biting down on his gold medal in the 1996 Olympic games:

Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty

But why do athletes do this? Are they signalling to each other in some sort of code? Is the medal coated in sugar?

No. Apparently, photographers just really like that particular pose.

David Wallechinsky, president of the International Society of Olympic Historians and author of The Complete Book of the Olympics told CNN:

It's become an obsession with the photographers…I think they look at it as an iconic shot.

Looking at the athletes' faces, that explanation actually makes sense.

This is awkward...

Picture: Javier Soriano/Getty/Rafael Nadal (R) and Spain's Marc Lopez (L)

Definitely reassessing life choices here...

Picture: Odd Anderson/Getty/Kazakhstan's Dmitriy Balandin

Hey, coach... do I have to do this? Yes I know it makes for a good photo but - oh fine.

Picture: /Getty/Brazil's Felipe Almeida Wu

This is actually making me hungry...where's the food at?

Picture: Goh Chai Hin/Getty/Egypt's Mohamed Mahmoud

Slovenia's Kayaker Peter Kauzer appears to be sniffing his silver medal, the rebel:

Picture: Olivier Morin/Getty

And in 2012 China's Zhang Guowei raised the stakes with no hands:

Picture: Greg Baker/Getty/China's Zhang Guowei

So there you have it.

In case you were wondering.

H/T: BuzzFeed

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