Whenever the Olympic Games take place we see athletes giving their all to win gold and glory.
But we also see great examples of competitors who show character and kindness toward each other.
Here’s the story of two of those athletes, who ended up winning the only half-silver, half-bronze medals in Olympic history.
Shuhei Nishida and Sueo Ōe were pole vaulters on Team Japan in the 1936 Olympics.
As the event went on, an American, Earle Meadows, took first place by clearing 4.35 meters.
Nishida and Ōe both cleared 4.25 meters, along with another American jumper.
They had a jump-off to see who would end up with the remaining two medals, which left Nishida and Ōe tied for second place.
The Olympic organizers insisted that there should be one silver medalist and one bronze, but the two jumpers decided that, out of respect for each other, they would not jump any further.
Eventually Team Japan chose Nishida as the second place finisher and Ōe third.
Some said Nishida got the silver because he was older, or because Ōe needed one more attempt than his teammate did to clear the 4.25 meter level.
Whatever the reason, the two took part in the medal ceremony, but they eventually got the last word.
When they returned to Japan, they took the two medals to a jeweler, who cut each of them in half, and then fused one half of each silver medal with one half of each bronze.
If they couldn’t share their medals in the record books, the athletes decided they would literally share the silver and bronze.
Those hybrid medals became known as the “Medals of Friendship,”
It’s worth knowing that the International Olympic Committee does enforce its trademark rights, which sometimes leads to interesting situations.
In 2016 they told the musical group The Lancashire Hotpots to either rename their song “The Beer Olympics” or they might face legal action.
So the group renamed their song “The Beer International Non-Profit Non-Governmental Sporting Quad Yearly Event.”
Pretty sure that one was free and clear,
The Silvonze Medalists (Now I Know)
Photo via Wikicommons