Paris 2024 Olympics Unveils Medals Featuring a Fragment of the Eiffel Tower at Their Core

In the heart of Paris, as the city anticipates the grandeur of the 2024 Summer Olympics, a novel accolade awaits the victors: a memento wrought from the very essence of the city itself. For the first time in Olympic history, champions will be awarded not only with the traditional gold, silver, and bronze but also a fragment of history — a sliver of iron from the Eiffel Tower. This innovative addition commemorates a century since Paris last played host to the games, intertwining the triumphs of the present with the legacy of the past.

Paris 2024 Olympics Unveils Medals Featuring a Fragment of the Eiffel Tower at Their Core

The revelation of these distinctive medals was made with a flourish six months before the commencement of the games, each one bearing at its heart a hexagonal piece of iron, a token of the tower’s enduring allure. These iron pieces, remnants of the tower’s numerous restorations over the decades, were meticulously preserved and have now found a new purpose. Donated by the guardians of the tower’s legacy, these fragments have been transformed into the heart of the medals, a gesture that Jean-François Martins, the custodian of the tower, hopes will endear the athletes to Paris through a “unique metal” souvenir.

The Eiffel Tower’s construction, a marvel of “puddle” iron — a material heralding from the forges of Lorraine, refined through the arduous process of puddling to achieve remarkable strength — stands as a testament to human ingenuity and the enduring spirit of Paris. Erected in 1889 for the Universal Exhibition and envisioned by Gustave Eiffel as a temporary edifice, it has since become an emblem of the city’s resilience and innovation.

In an unprecedented collaboration, the medals were conceived by the artisans of Chaumet House of Jewellery, nestled in the opulence of the LVMH group, marking the first instance where a jeweller has taken the helm in designing Olympic and Paralympic medals. These medals, envisioned as jewels, embody the craftsmanship of Chaumet’s Place Vendôme workshop, aiming to captivate the dreams of athletes and spectators alike.

The significance of these medals transcends their physical form; they are emblems of excellence, ambition, and the pinnacle of athletic pursuit. Tony Estanguet, the orchestrator of Paris 2024, emphasizes the medals’ capacity to inspire, underscoring a commitment to unity between the Olympic and Paralympic Games — a unity symbolized by a shared design element: the hexagon of iron from the Eiffel Tower.

The Paralympic medals, bearing a unique perspective of the Eiffel Tower, further embody this spirit of inclusivity with “Paris” and “2024” inscribed in universal Braille and tactile distinctions for each type of medal, ensuring that the essence of the Games is accessible to all.

While the design of Olympic medals adheres to certain conventions, featuring the goddess Nike and the Olympic rings, organizers are afforded the freedom to infuse the reverse side with a unique narrative. The Paris 2024 medals, with their blend of historical resonance and contemporary design, offer a tangible connection to the city’s illustrious past and vibrant present.

As the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games approach, with the Olympic Games spanning from July 26 to August 11 and the Paralympic Games from August 28 to September 8, the anticipation builds for a celebration that promises not only a showcase of athletic excellence but a profound connection to the spirit of Paris, encapsulated in a medal unlike any before.

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