The Olympic winners received a wreath made of a sacred olive tree branch. Another version is that after the contest, the victor was given a ribbon.
A head wreath.
The original Olympic prize was a laurel wreath.
In the ancient Olympics, no medals were awarded. The first-place winner was given an olive branch to wear on his head. The second and third place winners got nothing.
A head wreath.
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The winners were given crowns of olive branches, also the victors got a statue dedicated to them in the temple of Zeus
According to Wikipedia: In ancient Greece, the winners of the Olympic games initially received no trophies except laurel wreaths. Later the winner also received an amphora with sacred olive oil. In local games, the winners received different trophies, such as a tripod vase, a bronze shield or a silver cup. In ancient Rome, money usually was given to winners instead of trophies.
A head wreath.
In the ancient Olympic Games only the first was considered as winner and he was granted the "Κότινος" Kotinos a wreath of olive to crown him. Their names were written in the book of Olympic Games Winners, they were respected by all cities/ states and the city/ state they were citizens provided part of their expenses some times for a life time. It was a great honour to be a winner and one of their privilege was to ride by the side of the King or the General at the battle field when at war.
The wreath dates back at least to ancient Greece. It was associated with Apollo, the Greek god of health and life. One of its first recorded uses was 2,500-2,600 years ago, at the Pythian games. The Pythian games were the ancient model to the modern-day Olympic games. But winners weren't given medals. Instead, they were given laurel wreaths, as symbolic crowns of victory.
A crown of leaves, known as a laurel wreath, were given to the winners of the Olympic games because of their association with Apollo. He is often represented wearing a laurel wreath around his head.
As far as I know it is because they were started by the ancient Greeks and they were held on Mount Olympia.
The Greek athletes were given wreaths on their heads.
a laurel wreath was placed on the winner's head
A gold metal
Olive wreaths. they were honored greatly also
a crown of olive leaves cut from the sacred tree of Olympia
athletes were treated like demi-gods and given rewards for winning artisans made statues of some of the olympic winners the gods were naked, and so were the athletes
A wreath of leaves was given to the winner.
the first olympic "medals" was a branch of olive leafs
gold silver and bronze,
They received great honor and that was the main reason for competing was being the best. They also usually received a trophy and lot of olive oil and other goods. Also they would go back to their home town or city and be considered a hero and be treated almost like a modern day president with respect nd they could do and get whatever they wanted. In the original Olympic games, in Greece, winners of the games received a crown of olive leaves that adorned their head during the award ceremony. Some were also given a prize of a branch from a wild olive tree. In addition, winners would be given the task and honor of extending gratitude to Zeus and according to Greek mythology, Zeus and the rest of his Olympian Gods would as a result favor the town of a winning athlete and bestow good things upon them. Mainly, winners of Olympic games had the fame and popularity in their hometown and villages.
The gold medal is an award given to the first place winners in Olympic events. The most recent Olympics in China followed in this tradition.