I looked up the word "medal" in Oxford Collocations Dictionary and I could not find an example in which "medal" is used with "reach". The dictionary says:

VERB + MEDAL ▪ be awarded, collect, earn, get, receive, win ▪ deserve (often figurative) ▪ She deserves a medal for putting up with him. ▪ award (sb), give sb, present (sb with)

What I am asking is can I use reach with medal as follows?

He attended the Atlanta Olympics and reached the gold medal.

1 Answer 1


No. The verb reach implies a progression of tasks or achievements. Winning a gold medal can technically be accomplished without a progression of tasks or achievements. You don't first need to win a silver medal in order to win gold nor do you have to defeat anyone else before you win the gold. Literally speaking, winning the gold could happen the first time you ever play a sport (highly unlikely but possible).

What one would reach in regards to the gold medal is their goal of winning that medal. Their progression of tasks and accomplishments being endless training and demonstration of high skill.

The sentence that would capture the meaning you seek would be, "He attended the Olympics and reached his goal of winning a gold medal."

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