Yes, Olympic gold medals are indeed made of real gold. However, the composition of the medals varies depending on the Olympic Games and the specific regulations in place.
Historically, gold medals were made entirely of gold, but this practice changed over time due to the rising cost of gold and the need to accommodate larger medal quantities. In recent Olympic Games, the gold medals have typically consisted of a silver core covered with a layer of gold.
For example, during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (held in 2021), the gold medals were made from approximately 99.9% silver and plated with six grams of gold. The silver content ensures the medals maintain a substantial weight and durability, while the gold layer gives them their distinct golden appearance.
It’s worth noting that while the gold layer on Olympic gold medals is relatively thin, the symbolic value and prestige associated with winning a gold medal remain significant to athletes and fans around the world.