Winners of gold, silver and bronze medals at this summer's Olympic Games will take a little bit of Paris home with them, in the form of a slice of the Eiffel Tower.
A total of 5,084 medals will be awarded at the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, and each will have an 18-gram hexagonal slice of iron that came from the Eiffel Tower. The 984-foot tower was completed in 1889 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The pieces used in the medals come from material salvaged during renovations in the 20th century. Each hexagon, shaped to evoke the borders of France itself, is embossed with the logo of the Paris Games.
"For the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024, the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel is giving these veritable pieces of the history of Paris and France a second lease of life," Paris Olympic officials said in a statement announcing the release of the medals.
The other side of the Olympic medals features the traditional goddess Nike, as well as traditional Greek elements — the Acropolis and Panathenaic Stadium, where the Olympics began in 1896 — and the Eiffel Tower for 2024. The Paralympics features "Paris" and "2024" in braille, which was invented by Louis Braille of France.
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
The Eiffel Tower will be an ever-present fixture at the Summer Olympics. The Opening Ceremony will proceed down the Seine River to end at the Trocadero across from the tower, and beach volleyball will be held in a specially created temporary stadium near the Eiffel Tower.