The Olympic games were always bound to be a source of some controversy, but it’s the use of the word ‘medal’ as a verb that is really getting people worked up, it seems.
I’ve heard this usage on BBC Radio several times, and the presenters on 5 Live made quite a fuss last time I heard one of their sports correspondents came out with it. I’m surprised they thought they could get away with it given the clearly expressed view of the executive in charge of London 2012 coverage at the BBC:
But this isn’t a new phenomenon. Here’s an article by the Guardian’s style-guide editor from just after the 2008 Beijing Olympics that traces the usage back to the early 20th Century:
David Marsh: Meddle with to medal? | From the Guardian | The Guardian.