Athletes who win medals at the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Paris won’t just win gold, silver or bronze. Their medals will also include a piece of iron — wrought-iron, to be exact, from the Eiffel Tower itself.
Organizers of the Games said Thursday that each of the 5,084 medals created for the Paris events will be decorated on one side with a hexagon-shaped piece of iron recovered from the French capital’s iconic landmark.
“This exceptional object had to meet another very strong symbol of our country and our capital,” Tony Estanguet, the president of the Paris 2024 organizing committee, said at an event to unveil the medals’ design in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris where several Olympic events will be held.
Mr. Estanguet said the iron used in the medals will be recycled fragments from the Eiffel Tower’s original 1889 construction that had been sitting unused in a warehouse after renovation work.
Stripped of their brown paint and polished, each fragment will weigh 18 grams, or just over half an ounce, and be fashioned into a hexagon — the shape of France.
The hexagons, stamped with “Paris 2024” and the logo of the Games, will be set into the medal with claws shaped like the Eiffel Tower’s rivets, using a technique similar to that employed to affix precious gemstones in jewelry. Ridges of radiating lines that are designed to reflect light, a nod to Paris’ nickname as the City of Light, surround the hexagons.
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