In the olympic games there are three medals,they are awarded to the three best athletes/teams.Bronze is awarded to the 3rd best 2nd is silver and 1st is gold.The gold medal is silver and is gold plated.in 1896 only silver medals were awarded to the winners.In 1904 at the St. Louis games gold replaced silver.The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) Victory Ceremonies team worked closely with the British Museum’s Keeper of Coins and Medals, Philip Attwood, to look at the symbolic history of medals in Europe in the last century.
Note that some of these events were not offered during every Summer Olympic Games between their initial appearance and now. For example, tennis was an Olympic sport from 1896 to 1924. It was then removed from Olympic competition due to disputes between the International Tennis Federation and the IOC over allowing amateur players to compete. But tennis has been played again at the Olympic level since 1988.