A fortnight back the world’s largest and by far the most extravagant sporting event started and tomorrow it comes to an end. During this last fortnight, the one single thing that was discussed the most were the medals that winners received, be it gold, silver or bronze. The larger the haul, the greater it is.
Let us take a closer look at the medal below is the two sides of a medal which has been handed over in the London Olympics 2012.
|Two sides of London Olympics 2012 Medals|
On the right hand side is the depiction of a goddess. This is Nike. Since 1896, Nike has always been depicted on one side of the medals at the Olympics.
Nike is the Greek goddess of victory. She was the daughter of the Titan Pallas and the river Styx. She is always depicted as a winged goddess who carries a palm branch, a wreath and the staff of Hermes. She is also sometimes shown hovering around victors in a competition.
According to a legend, when Zeus was getting ready for a battle with the Titans, Styx brought her children to Zeus to side with the gods. Nike was appointed as his charioteer, and thus though she was the daughter of a Titan, she fought on behalf of Zeus in the war between the gods and the Titans. In classical Greek art, Nike is shown flying around battlefields rewarding the victors with glory and fame.
According to another legend, the victory of the Battle of Marathon was to be communicated to the home city some 26 miles away from the battle-ground. The messenger was so exhausted that on reaching the destination, all he could say was “Nike”, implying victory, before he died out of exhaustion. Coincidentally, this is also the origin of the marathon as a long-distance race.
Today Nike has been made famous by the well known shoe company which took the concept of victory and associated it with their goods!
With this, its curtains down on London Olympics 2012 and so it is with my series on Olympics.