The Uniqueness of Paris 2024 Olympic Medals
In a surprising twist, the medals awarded at this year’s Olympics in Paris will contain an extraordinary piece of history – an original fragment from the iconic Eiffel Tower.
The organizers of the Games made this announcement during the unveiling ceremony, revealing that ironwork removed from previous renovations had been repurposed to create a hexagonal centerpiece for each medal. This innovative approach ensures that successful athletes not only receive recognition but also take home a tangible piece of Parisian heritage.
French jeweler Chaumet, under the guidance of its parent company LVMH which signed a significant sponsorship deal with Paris 2024 last summer, oversaw the design process. While retaining the tradition of featuring Nike, the Greek goddess of victory on one side as seen since Athens 2004, these medals showcase a graphical representation of the Eiffel Tower when viewed from below on their reverse side.
A press release revealed that during renovation work in the 20th century “certain metallic elements” were carefully preserved after being removed from this architectural marvel. These preserved fragments underwent meticulous cleaning and cutting into hexagons before being embossed with the distinctive logo for Paris 2024.
To securely hold these historic pieces in place within each medal’s design, Chaumet utilized a unique “claw” setting technique commonly reserved for gemstones in jewelry-making. Clémentine Massonnat-Schaller, creative director at Chaumet explained how they aimed to highlight and elevate these hexagonal centerpieces, treating them as precious stones. The inspiration drawn from the Eiffel Tower is evident in the rays of sunlight that extend outward, reminiscent of Chaumet’s expertise in creating radiant tiaras.
Massonnat-Schaller further emphasized their desire to make athletes shine even brighter by incorporating the sunray motif into the medal design. This artistic touch symbolizes how a tiara can elevate its wearer and radiate beauty.
A notable departure from previous years is that both Olympic and Paralympic medals will share one face, emphasizing unity between the two events. Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet expressed his belief that this decision signifies a coming together and equal recognition for all participants.
Last year, Paris Olympics organizers made headlines when they unveiled an innovative torch designed by Mathieu Lehanneur. For the first time in Games history, this torch will be used for both the Olympics and Paralympics. Made entirely from recycled steel with a ripple effect representing moving water, this torch serves as a powerful symbol of sustainability.
It’s worth noting that LVMH’s involvement as a “Premium Partner” has brought additional excitement to these Games. Brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dior are expected to have prominent visibility during various events alongside LVMH-owned Champagne producer Moët Hennessy
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