Winning athletes at the Paris Olympics will receive medals containing a 'piece of the Eiffel Tower'

February 14, 2024
Winning athletes at the Paris Olympics will receive medals containing a 'piece of the Eiffel Tower'

During the ceremony to unveil the medal design at the Paris Olympics, the Games organizers said that the winning athletes in the Olympic and Paralympic Games will receive medals containing in the middle a hexagonal piece of iron taken from the Eiffel Tower.

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stated Organizers of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris This year, on Thursday during the ceremony to reveal the design of the medals, they will contain in their center a hexagonal piece of iron taken from the Eiffel Tower.

In the middle of all 5,084 gold, silver and bronze medals at the Olympics is a six-edged metal piece that will be set like a precious stone, designed by the French luxury jewelry house Chaumet.

The head of the local organizing committee said Tony Estangue “We wanted to give all the medal winners at the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games a piece of the Eiffel Tower from 1889.”

The medals are “a mixture of the most expensive metals from the medals – gold, silver and bronze – with the most expensive metal in our country, from this treasure, which is the Eiffel Tower.”

Each one has a diameter of 85 mm, a thickness of 9.2 mm, and different weights, 529 grams for gold, 525 grams for silver, and 455 grams for bronze.

Chaumet's design, whose creations have adorned aristocrats and the wealthy since 1780, also features a circular arrangement of edges intended to capture light and evoke sunlight.

The hexagonal shape reflects the features of mainland France, and is held in place by six protrusions at each corner that closely resemble the nails used on the Eiffel Tower.

The metal was taken from a warehouse in Paris used to store pieces being removed by the operator that maintains the 330-meter (1,083-foot) landmark, known as the “Old Lady” in France.

“We discovered that over the years during the maintenance of the Eiffel Tower, they had to remove some pieces from the original structure,” director of ceremonies Thierry Ripoll explained during a preview of the medals for Agence France-Presse and other media.

“We used these pieces. There were enough of them,” he continued.

Medal design is an essential part of the aesthetic of every Olympics, along with the logo, mascots and opening ceremony.

Since 2004, the back of all medals shows the Greek goddess Niki flying at the historic Panathinaikos Stadium in Athens, site of the original Olympic Games in ancient times.

The Paris organizers obtained a concession from the International Olympic Committee, which enabled them to change the design slightly to add the Eiffel Tower to the medals. All the metal used in the Paris medals, which weigh about half a kilogram, was recycled.

The recent Olympics in Tokyo saw Japanese organizers also incorporate recycled metals, with each medal being formed from alloys extracted from used consumer electronics such as mobile phones and laptops.

France 24/AFP

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