Where and When Did the Tradition of Trophies Start?

The Tradition of Trophies is an interesting one to learn about...

Photo by Peter Griffin on publicdomainpictures.net

A trophy is a tangible reminder of a specific achievement, and the word comes from the Greek word ‘tropian” which refers to body parts collected in battle. A severed head would have been the victor’s prize in those days, a long way from the trophies one sees in modern sports. The Greek origin term was passed from civilisation to civilisation, with the French adopting the word” trophee” in the mid-16th century, and the British coining the term “trophy” shortly after. European sports developed gradually over the next 200 years, and tradition of trophies became an essential part of winning.

Laurel wreaths

The ancient Greek games, which were the founders of the Olympics, used laurel wreaths that the winning athletes wore around their necks. Then bronze and silver came into the picture, with hand crafted cups and shields providing a more permanent award, with considerable value in those days.

Ancient Rome

This civilisation seemed to prefer to award their victors with money rather than a trophy, and there is very little evidence to suggest otherwise. In some arenas outside the capital, gladiator contestants used the body parts of the losers, which were often displayed upon long spikes, as a form of recognition.

The Americas

In the 17th century, chalices were awarded to winners, and traditionally made from silver, they were awarded to winners of horse races, which were very popular at that time. Then, as the automobile was introduced, the chalice shape morphed into a cup with two handles, which is the kind of trophy we see so much today.

Mass production

In the early days, trophies were much more valuable than modern examples, as most were hand made using silver or bronze, and a heavy trophy could be worth a lot, which added to the incentive to be first across the line. Mass production changed all that, and modern trophies are often made from synthetics or resin, which is both durable and inexpensive.

A symbol of success

Trophies are not exclusively tied to large sporting events, with schools and local teams also winning cups, shields, and plaques. For those in Western Australia who would like to present a trophy for any reason, Sports Star Trophies in Perth have an extensive range of unique awards that are guaranteed to delight. These can be given out in a business environment, as recognition for reaching targets or performing over and above the norm, and certainly raise the motivation level within the team.

The range of awards in the modern world includes customised plaques and presentation badges that can be worn at any time. Sports Star Trophies are an established trophy supplier, so if one lives in Australia, and is looking for an award for a special occasion, they are the people to talk to.

The trophy has come a long way since the days of the Greek games, and modern awards offer style and durability, which is essential because people want to treasure these symbols of success for many years.