The Olympic medals at the Paris 2024 Games will include pieces of the Eiffel Tower.
The historic touch was announced by organizers on Thursday. And the Eiffel Tower pieces are not tiny or hidden — they form the centerpieces of the medals.
L’or olympique, le graal d’une vie d’un sportif de haut niveau !
Chaque édition des Jeux a sa médaille 🥇
Celle de #Paris2024 est française, rayonnante et unique avec un fragment de fer d’origine de la tour Eiffel de 1889 !@Olympics @jeuxolympiques pic.twitter.com/prp23OXWUa
— Paris 2024 (@Paris2024) February 8, 2024
Because the Eiffel Tower has been refurbished and restored several times over the years, original iron pieces of the structure have been removed and stored by the Eiffel Tower Operating Co. Paris 2024 organizers kept that in mind when designing the medals.
“The concept came after a few discussions. We realized that there’s one symbol known across the world, which is the Eiffel Tower,” head designer Joachim Roncin said. “We said to ourselves, ‘Hey, what if we approached the Eiffel Tower Operating Co. to see if it’s possible to get a bit of the Eiffel Tower to integrate into the medal?’”
The result is a hexagonal centerpiece on the front of the medals. The original Eiffel Tower iron pieces, each weighing about 18 grams, were polished to remove their “Eiffel Tower brown” paint and set in the medal with six small clasps.
Disks of gold, silver and bronze surround the central Eiffel Tower hexagon. The reverse side shows Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. All Olympic medals have displayed Nike on one side since 1928. This year’s medals also depict the Parthenon and the Eiffel Tower on the back.
“Having a gold medal is already something incredible. But we wanted to add this French touch and we thought that the Eiffel Tower would be this cherry on the top,” Roncin said. “Having a piece of it is a piece of history.”
All medals for the 2024 Paralympics, which follow about two weeks after the Olympics conclude, will also have a piece of the Eiffel Tower in them.
The reverse side of the Paralympic medals shows the Eiffel Tower as if someone was looking up at the structure from underneath. Additionally, the words “Paris 2024” are written in Braille, which was invented by Frenchman Louis Braille.
The Paris Olympics will begin on July 26 and end on Aug. 11. The Paralympics will begin on Aug. 28 and end on Sept. 8.
With News Wire Services