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anonymous
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Q: Why did Yi Siling bite her gold medal?

Olympic Air Rifle winner Yi Siling was shown biting her gold medal on TV and in the papers, e.g.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/2012olympics/2012-07/28/content_15627829.htm

 

Why is she doing this?  Also, why did the China Daily choose this picture for the article?  Is it just cutesy, or is there a cultural reason?

9 years 48 weeks ago in  Sports - China

 
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Emperor

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Only Yi Siling will know the real answer to your question, we can only take wild guesses.

 

Maybe she was nervous, maybe she did it without realizing what she was doing, maybe she wanted to make sure her gold medal was not a dream, maybe she wanted to see if it was made of real gold.  Who knows in reality why ?  And who cares.  As a fellow shooter, I am very happy for her performance.

greenfields:

“she wanted to see if it was made of real gold”.originally, old Chinese did it by this way.

9 years 48 weeks ago
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9 years 48 weeks ago
 
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Emperor

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  She thought it was a chocolate penny.

mowenting:

Mmmmm, chocolate penny....enlightened

9 years 48 weeks ago
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9 years 48 weeks ago
 
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Emperor

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Pica ?

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9 years 48 weeks ago
 
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Real pure gold is actually very soft (most gold we buy is mixed with alloys to harden it up), so one of the best ways to test for top quality gold used to be to gently bite it and see if your teeth leave indentations. It would also help people to see if a coin was just gold plated. Of course, then, you have teeth marks in your gold, but whatever.

 

I've seen quite a lot of pictures of athletes biting their gold medals - I guess the thinking must be "look! look! look! I got the gold! Only my medal can be tested this way!"

 

I don't know why she felt the need to take such a massive looking bite, though. It looks like she's trying to eat it.

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9 years 48 weeks ago
 
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We Chinese say "Bite me to prove that I'm not day-dreaming!(In dreams you won't feel pain)" in ecstatic moment (like wining a Olympic medal). Cause it's really unbelievable good luck. What Yi Siling did is to say "Wow! I can't believe my dream just come true!!" rather than check the  qualification of medal. We all know that can't be fake and won't do it in front of a plenty of media. China Daily may choose that picture with neglect of culture difference, cause in Chinese view, we think that's reasonable and biting is a special way to show happiness in that very moment.

LAR:

Yeah, it's just like I've read on this website about the weird Chinese females biting their partners! :(

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9 years 48 weeks ago
 
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Shifu

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Just about every athlete does that. Doesn't matter where they are from. It's not from any culture as much as it is an Olympic tradition.

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I think she was hungry and hadn't had her chicken feet in England.

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Uh, all sorts of athletes from all over do that.

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I go with "WOW - this is real!!!!" (winning, not that it's made of gold)

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Perhaps she had heard that Europe and The UK were broke and was just checking? crying

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9 years 48 weeks ago
 
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