Prior to the start of the Olympic Games, the awards are under the protection and control of the host. For example, the medals for the 2012 London sporting events are housed in the Tower of London. Reliable storage is equipped with alarm, video surveillance and other degrees of protection. They are also monitored around the clock.
After rewarding athletes on the podium, each of them takes their medals to their own use. Typically, awards are taken home by athletes and placed on their own wall of honour, in the most prominent place.
Olympic medals received by those athletes who have already passed away, in most cases relatives are transferred to the Sports Museum. There they are stored in special display cases, having protection in the form of alarm.
The fate of the first medal, which was received by gymnast Hermann Weingartner for winning the Olympic discipline of pole jumping in 1896, was stolen from the Sports Museum located in Japan. She represented an award weighing 68 g. Its diameter was about 50 mm. She came to the Museum through third hands. When the first Olympic champion of 1896 passed away, his family donated the medal as an award trophy in 1964 to Japanese gymnast Yukio Endo. After, he gave this medal to the Museum. There she was placed in an unlocked cell, which was absolutely unprotected from hacking. And as a result, the medal was stolen.