Saturday, 5 May 2012

History of Trophies Through Time

By John P Peterson
Today trophies are awarded for a range of reasons; from academic achievement, sporting events and to recognise employers or employees. A trophy is a sign of recognition for the recipient and something they can keep as a permanent reminder. They can be inexpensive, made from plastic and wood given to every participant in your child's soccer team, or they can also be a treasure to truly aspire to, such as an Olympic medal or something that has been passed down over many years, like the America's Cup, a sailing trophy.
The history of trophies extends back to ancient times. Derived from the French word 'trophee' in 1513, which means "a spoil or prize of war", trophies also date back to ancient Greece. Through victory in battle the Greeks would create trophies from ...
the captured arms, and hang these on a tree or stake on the battlefield. The details of the battle were written on the arms and dedicated to the gods. Trophies were created out of entire ships following naval battles, which were laid out on the beach. In Rome trophies were formed within their architecture, memorials that included columns and archways. Records of cups awarded in the late 1600s exist, although there is little known about the existence of trophies given through the Middle Ages. A particular cup called the Kyp Cup was awarded in 1699 for a short horse race between two New England towns.
The original Olympic games in ancient Greece did not award medals. Instead their trophies consisted of an olive branch made into a crown and only the winner was recognised. The first modern Olympic games held in 1896 awarded silver medals. Today, of course, medals are awarded in gold, silver and bronze.
There are many famous sporting trophies awarded today. Some of these include:
FIFA World Cup
The current trophy has been awarded since 1974, although the competition has been held since 1930. It is the world's most widely watched tournament and held within a host nation every four years. The senior men's teams from 32 nations compete over a month, a position they must qualify for over the three years leading up to it.
Davis Cup
A major tennis trophy, this was first awarded in 1900. With 100 years of tradition the cup was donated by a Harvard student named Dwight Filley Davis and crafted by Rowland Rhodes in New England. This beautiful silver trophy is the only original major sporting cup to have lasted a century.
The Melbourne Cup
This stunning 18 carat gold trophy is recognised the world over, and is valued at $125,000. The race has been run since 1861 but today's design was created for the 1919 Melbourne Cup by James Steeth. Today the same processes are still used to create it, where 34 individual pieces of gold are hand beaten over 200 hours.
Two beautiful trophies are awarded at the oldest tennis tournament in the world, one which is still played on grass, the original tennis playing surface. The Gentlemen's singles winner is awarded a silver gilt cup which was first given in 1887. The winner of the Ladies singles receives a large silver dish know as the 'Venus Rosewater Dish', which is decorated with mythological figures.
Other famous cups include the Borg-Warner Trophy for the Indianapolis 500 champion; the Bledisloe Cup, an annual award for the winner of the Rugby Union between Australia and New Zealand; The Ashes, awarded to the winner of the cricket test series between Australian and England; the America's Cup for sailing and the AFL Premiership Cup.
By the way, do you want to learn more about Business? If so, I suggest you check Trophies and Corporate Awards.
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