What Happens If There’s a Tie at the Olympic Games?

Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the top finishers in every event at the Olympic Games - a tradition that began at the St. Louis 1904 Olympic Games. So, what happens if there’s a tie? When all is said and done, ties are really just the unappealing result of an absence of confidence, which is why they’re such tough pills to swallow for fans and athletes alike, particularly in individual sports. However, while it may seem counterintuitive to the spirit of an athletic competition that awards medals for first, second and third place, ties actually do occur at the Olympics. If a pair of athletes or two teams tie for first-place, they each receive a gold medal, no one is awarded silver, and the bronze is awarded to the runner-up. If a pair of athletes tie for second place, they're each awarded a silver medal and there's no bronze given out. If a pair of athletes tie for third-place, they're each awarded a bronze medal and gold and silver are awarded as usual to the first and second-place finishers.