You'd think a gold medal, which people from all over the world competed over, would be very valuable, but like all good trophies, that value is primarily symbolic in nature.
Shockingly, a gold medal only actually has around 1.3 percent of actual gold in it.
There used to be considerably more gold in the medals in the past, but gold prices have gone up to $1,895 an ounce. (Prices have risen about 600 percent in the last 10 years alone.) With more competitors than ever, that's a lot of gold Brazil had to buy.
In fact, ironically, gold medals are actually made of over 90 percent silver, which makes them worth around $500.
Silver medals are worth about half as much because they have less gold in them, though at least they're made of the metal they're named after.
And bronze medals are mostly made of fucking copper. Copper, you know, the metal the US makes its least valuable currency out of.
According to Boing Boing, bronze medals are worth a whopping $3.
Oh, and by the way, I used the word whopping there because they are literally worth less than a Whopper.
Knowing that makes this gesture make a bit more sense now.