The ancient runners were rewarded with an olive wreath. In 1896 the winner of each event receives a silver medal, an olive branch and a diploma. The second has a copper medal, a laurel branch and a diploma.
Everything is done to honor the host country : the branches were picked on Mount Olympus and the silver medal shows on one side a head of Zeus along with a small winged Victory and on the other side a view of Acropolis and Parthenon. A silver medal of the 1896 Olympics is estimated $ 100K for sale by Heritage in Dallas on November 18, lot 53217.
The enthusiasm of the crowd culminates when a humble Greek water-carrier named Spyridon Louis wins the emblematic event of these games, which is also the very first marathon in sporting history. In addition to the official awards King George presents Louis with a silver cup and an old vase. The vase is immediately given to a museum. The cup was sold for £ 540K including premium by Christie's on April 18, 2012.
The next Olympic Games held in 1900 in Paris discontinued the award of medals. The winners got cups and trophies instead. The modern medal system including gold for the winner, silver for the second and bronze for the third appears for the first time in St. Louis in 1904. Until 1912 the medal of the winner is in bulk gold.
SOLD for $ 66K including premium