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2024 Paris Olympics Medals Unveiled

They're embedded with actual pieces of the Eiffel Tower.

2024 Olympic Gold Medal
2024 Olympic Gold Medal | Thibault Camus/ AP

A hexagonal, polished chunk of iron taken from none other than the Eiffel Tower is being embedded in each medal that will be hung around athletes’ necks at the Paris Games and the Paralympics that follow.

So, on top of making history at the upcoming Olympic Games, Paris medalists will take a bit of France and its world famous landmark home with them, too. “Are these really authentic chunks from the Eiffel Tower?”, we hear you ask. Yes, absolutely, they are.

Built for the 1889 World’s Fair, engineer Gustave Eiffel’s tower was only intended to stand for 20 years. Unsurprisingly, therefore, it requires a little maintenance from time to time.

For the 2024 medals, the iron pieces embedded in the centre of the Olympic medals have been cut from girders and other bits that were swapped out of the tower during renovations and stored for safekeeping. They were stripped of paint, polished and varnished for their second life, as well as stamped with 'Paris 2024' and the Games logo.

2024 Paris Olympic medals
Unique medals that mean winners will take home a piece of French history | Thibault Camus/AP

Designed by Chaumet, the six small clasps that hold the iron pieces in the medals are a nod to the 2.5 million rivets that bind the Eiffel Tower together. Around the iron centrepieces are disks of gold, silver or bronze. They’re crinkled to reflect the light, making the medals shine. Games organizers say the metal is all recycled, not newly mined.

And if you were curious, the Paris Mint is producing about 2,600 medals for the Olympics and 2,400 for the Paralympics. The gold medals weigh 529 grams and are not pure gold. They are made of silver and plated with 6 grams of gold. The silvers weigh 525 grams and the bronzes weigh 455 grams and are a copper, tin and zinc alloy.


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