Athletes struggle and compete against each other to win the coveted trophy and award. Trophies, awards and accolades inspire moral, and encourage the fighting sprit within people. So what are the origins of the trophy? How did the practice of giving awards come about? Here is the story.
The year is March AD 978. Britain’s King Edward was riding on the outskirts of the city on a hunt. Soon, he was drinking and making merry when suddenly from behind, he was stabbed with a knife and died on the spot. Subsequently, in order to prevent the recurrence of similar assassinations, British rulers developed a banquet etiquette which doubled up as an assassination defense: a cup filled with wine would be passed around the drinkers, and people stood up to crowd around the drinker as a form of protection. After the cup was used for drinking sessions after a week later, the cup became a potent symbol of a precious gift. In later ages, people followed on this tradition to award the cup as a form of reward and recognition to the deserving recipient.
This carried on to evolve into the trophies of modern sporting competitions. With the increase in sports and competition events, the production and design of trophies, cups and awards continually underwent a process of refinement and improvement to include new shapes and styles. The trophy became pregnant with meaning and some became valued as precious works of art.
Some of the most famous trophies in the world are associated with the name of the sports sponsor or the donor of the trophy. Often, these trophies go on to become prestigious events known throughout the world. For example is the International Badminton Championships Men’s Team Champions Cup, Thomas Cup. In 1939 British badminton player Thomas made a donation for the trophy. In his honor, the trophy was called the Thomas Cup. In more recent years, trophies have been associated with corporate sponsors. A good example would be the Barclay’s Premier League Trophy.
Of all the trophies in the world, most are made of alloys, clay, wood, or plastic; but very few are made with gold or silver. The World Cup, also known as the “Goddess Cup”, is made from 1800-grams of pure gold. Brazil won the honor to keep the cup after they won it for the third time in 1970. At present, the most expensive trophy in the World Football Cup trophy, the FIFA World Cup, which is the production of 5 kg of pure gold. This cup is made in the shape of two hands to holding high the Earth and is worth $2.5 million.
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