Some of us are lucky enough to have medals recognizing the achievements of our family - usually military medals I suspect. They are beautiful, tangible memories. Several years ago while visiting my husband's family in Maine, his uncle pulled out a mass of collegiate swimming medals that his father (my husband's grandfather) won while at Columbia University. The photo you see are 12 medals framed on our study wall. These 12 were a fraction of the whole collection. I would estimate he had 7 times this amount.
They are amazing. They represent a side of a grandparent rarely seen - a strong, young athlete - not the slow, possibly feeble people whose laps we crawl into as children, to listen to stories we probably don't believe at the time. It's an honor to get to look at these every day.
It also prompted us to do a little googling!
Go google your family, you may be surprised at what you find!