With regard to medals and diplomas, one must first determine whether they have been awarded to Olympic participants or Olympic champions.
Participants in the Olympic Games have always received a participation medal and often a certificate of participation. As a rule, the winner of a discipline received a winners’ gold medal, silver for second place and bronze for third. In addition, the first three each received a diploma. Often, such a diploma was also presented to all discipline finalists.
A collection of participation medals is a beautiful piece of Olympic history, since, if one has a complete collection, one has a souvenir of all the Olympic Games since 1896.
However, it is much more difficult to collect winners’ medals or winners’ diplomas. Due to their scarcity and the fact that an Olympic champion or his/her relatives are very reluctant to part with a winners’ medal, collecting is a major challenge, both in time and in financial terms.