Often, when we say about winning prizes, we say it without any articles:
I won first prize/ first place.
And as far as I know, people use "the" with names of specific prizes:
He won the Pulitzer prize.
She won the Nobel prize.
He won the Field's medal.
But, what I am wondering is what about medals. Is it
Jessica Ennis won an Olympic gold medal
or is it
She won the Olympic gold medal
And would it make any difference if it was some other kind of gold medal, not an Olympic one? And what if in the case nothing is aforementioned and is just a "gold medal"?
Also, I believe, "win first prize" is almost like a phrase. But would it make any difference if it was with capital letters, so the name of the prize was First Prize. I think similar things can be asked about "honourable mention" as well. Are both only used without articles when simply describing someone winning it?