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There is nothing better than the feeling of winning. The rush of excitement and pride when we snag the top spot, earning our accolades and being named the best. It gets even better when the exultation and reward for what we’ve done gets placed in our hands- the winner’s trophy.

What now marks the top distinction in sports, business, and competition is often the most iconic part of the entire event. What is the NFL season without the Lombardi Trophy? NHL without the Stanley Cup? The Kentucky Derby without a wreath of roses and the silver, horse-adorned chalice? We love to present the best of the best with a commemorative marker of their accomplishments, a physical reminder that says forever – “No one was better that day!”

The first trophies we can be seen given out in history were the green leafed laurels placed on the heads of the first Olympic victors. Hence where the saying comes from “Don’t rest on your laurels”. Since then, many organizations of continued to up the prize to distinguish their winners from others and to commemorate a specific achievement or time period. Both the Lombardi Trophy and FedEx Playoff Cup, for example, are now made from Tiffany & Co. silver, only being touched with delicate blue gloves while being transported, handled, and inscribed so that the winner’s fingertips are the first to grace the sleek surface of their prize.

Along with the allure of holding such an elusive accolade, what makes so many people entranced by these trophies are the elegant and specific design that goes into each one. We can see that clearly in the evolution of MLB World Series rings, each growing more diamond-studded, engraved, and gigantic year over year. They are so personalized, so nuanced to that team’s win and that player’s contribution that they’re a work of art in their own right. Then there are the trophies that haven’t changed a beat in the decades of their dispersion. Oscars and Emmy’s awards, for example, are equally iconic for their never-changing silhouette- gleaming gold in the hands of Hollywood starlets long gone and just emerging.

The design of the trophy and the feat to achieve it, make earning one a rare and special achievement. Summon your inner champion everyday and know that while the Lombardi trophy may never find a place on your mantle, the efforts you put into your family, friends and work provide a trophy you can achieve daily – accomplishment and pride.

Making of the Lombardi Trophy
Kentucky Derby Winners Circle History
NBA Trophy Design

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