On Thursday, organizers of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games unveiled a unique addition to this year’s Olympic medals: pieces of the iconic Eiffel Tower. Each medal for the Games will incorporate a hexagonal piece of iron taken from the heart of the famous monument.
Built for the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) in 1889 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The tower was designed to showcase France’s industrial prowess and serve as a symbol for the city. Each piece will be a focal point in the centre of the medals.
Sourcing the metal for the medals
You may be asking where did the metal come from? No, it was not cut directly off the Eiffel Tower. According to Inside The Games, the metal was sourced from by the company responsible for maintaining the 330-metre landmark. The use of recycled metal is also in line with the trend seen at the Tokyo Olympics. Those medals were made partly from consumer electronics.
The reverse side of the medals will feature the Greek goddess Nike flying toward the historic Panathinaikos Stadium in Athens, a tradition since 2004. With the approval of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Paris organizers modified the design to incorporate the Eiffel Tower in the background.
Eiffel Tower to feature at Games
Beyond the medals, the Eiffel Tower will play a central role in the festivities at the Games. From the opening ceremony, where sports teams will sail down the River Seine, to the potential placement of the Olympic flame atop the tower, the iconic landmark will be a focal point throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which run from July 26 to Aug. 11, and the Paralympics, from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8.
Unique symbol of a dream coming true.
The ultimate reward for a victory or a podium finish!
They carry in their hearts an actual fragment of the Eiffel Tower.
Here are the #Paris2024 Olympic and Paralympic medals.@Olympics @Paralympics pic.twitter.com/08VLwyVwq6
— Paris 2024 (@Paris2024) February 8, 2024