Why do Olympians bite their medals?

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Why Do Olympians Bite Their Medals?

By: Amanda Kabbabe/Jose Sepulveda

If you're at home watching the Olympics, you might have noticed a slightly bizarre trend: Olympians of pretty much every sport bite their medals.

This rings true for gold, silver and bronze winners, but it begs the question: why bite?

One explanation is that it's a test, sort of.

SEE MORE: Everything you need to know about the Summer Olympics

Gold is a malleable metal, and even though Olympic medals haven't been made of real gold since 1912, one way to find out if something is pure gold or not is to quite literally sink your teeth into it.

If it's real gold, your teeth should leave a mark.

Simone Biles at the 2016 Olympics:

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Simone Biles at the 2016 Olympics
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Simone Biles at the 2016 Olympics
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Victory Ceremony - Women's Individual All-Around Victory Ceremony - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA bites her gold medal on the podium after winning the women's individual all-around final. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Victory Ceremony - Women's Individual All-Around Victory Ceremony - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA, wearing her gold medal, reacts at a camera after winning the women's individual all-around final. REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA competes on the vault during the women's individual all-around final. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of the U.S. competes on the balance beam. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of the U.S. celebrates winning the gold. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA competes on the beam during the women's individual all-around final. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA competes on the beam during the women's individual all-around final. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA celebrates winning gold in the women's individual all-around final. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of the United States competes on the uneven bars. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
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However, these days, athletes are more preoccupied with the symbolism the medals have for them, their families and their country than how much actual gold is in the medals. So, if you see it in Rio, it's just symbolic.

Yes, athletes now simply bite their medals for the cameras. This explains why they look so graceful while doing it.

David Wallechinsky, president of the International Society of Olympic Historians, told CNN, "It's become an obsession with the photographers."

So, the athletes are soaking in their time in the spotlight and giving a whole new meaning to the term "metal mouth."

Hey, after everything they've accomplished, these athletes deserve it!

Michael Phelps at the Rio Olympics:

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Michael Phelps at the Rio Olympics
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Michael Phelps at the Rio Olympics
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Michael Phelps of the USA competes in the Men's 100m Butterfly Heats on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Michael Phelps of the United States prepares ahead of his Men's 100m Butterfly heat on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
USA's Michael Phelps competes in a Men's 100m Butterfly heat during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 11, 2016. / AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: Phelps Michael of the United States celebrates his 20th golden Olympic medal after winning the Men's 200m Butterfly Final at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games on August 09, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 9/08/2016 (Photo by Peter De Voecht / Photonews via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - USA's Michael Phelps competes in a Men's 100m Butterfly heat during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 11, 2016. / AFP / François-Xavier MARIT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS-XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Michael Phelps of the United States competes Men's 100m Butterfly heat on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10: (L-R) Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte of the United States compete in the second Semifinal of the Men's 200m Individual Medley on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10: Michael Phelps of the USA and Thiago Pereira of Brazil smile after competing in the Men's 200m Individual Medley Heats on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
USA's Michael Phelps warms up before competing in a Men's 200m Individual Medley heat during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 10, 2016. / AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
USA's Michael Phelps celebrates with his gold medal during the podium ceremony for the Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay Final as part of the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 9, 2016. / AFP / François-Xavier MARIT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS-XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images)
Michael Phelps of the United States of America celebrates after the men?s 200m butterfly final of swimming at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 9, 2016. Michael Phelps won the gold medal with 1 minute 53.36 seconds./ CHINA OUT
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 9: Gold medalist Michael Phelps of USA is congratulated by his fiancee Nicole Johnson, their 3 months old baby Boomer Phelps and his mother Debbie Phelps (left) following the medal ceremony for the men's 200m butterfly on day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Michael Phelps and Caeleb Dressel of the United States celebrate winning gold in the Final of the Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: Michael Phelps of United States celebrates his gold medal after the final men's 100m freestyle at Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08: Michael Phelps of the United States is congratulated by Tamas Kenderesi of Hungary in the second Semifinal of the Men's 200m Butterfly on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
USA's Michael Phelps celebrates after he won the Men's 200m Butterfly Final during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 9, 2016. / AFP / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08: Michael Phelps of the United States ahead of the second Semifinal of the Men's 200m Butterfly on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
USA's Michael Phelps warms up before competing in a Men's 200m Butterfly heat during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 8, 2016. / AFP / Odd Andersen (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL- AUGUST 07: Michael Phelps and Caeleb Dressel of the United States celebrate winning gold in the Final of the Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lucas Oleniuk-Toronto Star (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Swimmer Michael Phelps carries the flag to lead the U.S. team during the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympic Games on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Mark Reis/Colorado Springs Gazette/TNS via Getty Images)
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