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What Unique Material Will Be Included in the 2024 Olympic Medals?

Updated May 17, 2024
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For the world’s top athletes, competing and medaling at the Olympic Games is often the pinnacle of their careers. Receiving an Olympic medal is a momentous achievement, recognizing an athlete’s hard work, dedication, sacrifice, and talent.

The bronze, silver, and gold medals awarded at the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will contain something that makes them especially unique: pieces of scrap iron from the Eiffel Tower, the iconic symbol of this year’s host city, Paris.

The metal will come from pieces of the Eiffel Tower that were removed and preserved during 20th-century restoration efforts. In the run-up to the Olympics, the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel approved the use of those pieces for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics. It will be the first time that the host city has included fragments of a monument in the medals (though the 2008 Beijing medals unusually featured jade).

The 2024 Paris Olympics will be held from July 24 to August 11, followed by the Paralympics from August 28 to September 8. Of the 5,000 medals produced for the Games, 2,600 will be awarded to athletes in the Olympics, and 2,400 will be awarded to Paralympic athletes. At Paris 2024, the Games’ top athletes will not only achieve the status of Olympic medalists, but they will also take a small piece of Parisian history home with them.

Going for gold (or silver, or bronze):

  • The medals for the 2024 Games were designed by the luxury Paris jewellery house Chaumet and produced by the Paris Mint.

  • The Olympic and Paralympic medals have the same front: a hexagon-shaped token of iron from the Eiffel Tower, which is meant to represent the shape of France. The back of the Olympic medal features Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, with the Acropolis on one side and the Eiffel Tower on the other. The back of the Paralympic medal has a view of the Eiffel Tower from underneath and a braille inscription of "Paris 2024" in honor of Louis Braille, the French educator who created a system of reading and writing for the visually impaired.

  • One of the world’s most recognizable structures, the Eiffel Tower was named after engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the Eiffel Tower between 1887 and 1889. The world's first structure over 300 meters tall, the Eiffel Tower was the centerpiece of the 1889 World’s Fair.

  • Paris last hosted the Olympic Games exactly one century ago, in 1924.

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