Often in sports, the first place winner is presented with a big, shiny trophy in the shape of a hollowed out bowl that is stamped with various words and symbols. Medals are prevalent too, most notably at the Olympic Games, but cups are easily the second most recognizable kind of award for sporting achievement.
At the top of professional sports, we see the huge Stanley Cup in hockey (which is over three feet tall), the men’s Wimbledon Championship Trophy (the women get an ornamental plate), and the FIFA World Cup (this cup has a globe inside it and the design is based on the original traditional version of the cup). In most cases with cups, the winner of the tournament doesn’t get to keep it. That includes all three of those listed above, which all engrave the name of the team on the cup. Instead, sometimes the team or winner will get a replica, which is what happens with FIFA.
In American fencing, we have the North America Cup (NAC) competitions, which in its current setup does not offer any trophy, maybe there was one many years ago. There’s also the Fencing World Cup, which offers a trophy shaped like a cup and is one of the top international fencing competitions.
It’s an interesting phenomenon in the world of sports when you think about it. What are these cups for? Is anyone actually drinking out of them? How did this tradition get started in the first place?