An Olympic medal inlaid with a chunk of the Eiffel Tower. How’s that for a monumental prize?
A hexagonal, polished chunk of iron taken from the enduring landmark is being embedded in every gold, silver and bronze medal that shall be hung round athletes’ necks on the July 26-Aug. 11 Paris Video games and Paralympics that observe.
Video games organizers revealed their revolutionary design on Thursday.
Simone Biles has seven medals from her two earlier Olympics and LeBron James has two golds and one bronze from London, Beijing and Athens. However neither of these athletes who’re focusing on the Paris Video games nor any of the roughly 36,600 different medalists at 29 earlier Summer time Olympics stretching again to 1896 ever owned one fairly like these.
By making historical past on the Video games, Paris medalists will take a little bit of France and its historical past house, too.
Right here’s a deep dive into the medals which might be certain to wow:
ARE THESE REALLY EIFFEL TOWER CHUNKS?
Completely. The 1,083-foot tall tower is made from 18,038 iron elements. Nevertheless it’s additionally getting a bit lengthy within the tooth. Constructed for the 1889 World’s Honest — which celebrated the a centesimal anniversary of the French Revolution — engineer Gustave Eiffel’s tower was solely meant to face for 20 years.
As an alternative, it simply goes on and on — due to a little bit of rejuvenating surgical procedure infrequently and fixed care. The 135-year-old tower is a veteran of two earlier Video games — in 1900 and 1924, the final held in Paris.
The iron items embedded within the middle of the Olympic medals every weigh about two-thirds of an oz.
They had been lower from girders and different bits that had been swapped out of the Eiffel Tower throughout renovations and saved for safekeeping, in accordance with Joachim Roncin, head of design on the Paris Video games organizing committee.
“The idea got here after a number of discussions. We realized that there’s one image recognized internationally, which is the Eiffel Tower,” Roncin stated. “We stated to ourselves, ‘Hey, what if we approached the Eiffel Tower Working Co. to see if it’s doable to get a little bit of the Eiffel Tower to combine into the medal?’”
The corporate agreed, and “the dream turned actuality,” he stated. “It’s actually a little bit of steel from the Eiffel Tower.”
HOW WERE THE CHUNKS PREPARED?
They had been stripped of paint, polished and varnished for his or her second life.
They’re stamped with “Paris 2024” and the Video games emblem — which seems to be like a flame or the face of a girl with a classy bob haircut. The 5 Olympic rings are additionally stamped on the iron of the Olympic medals. The Paralympic emblem of three swooshes, referred to as the Agitos, is stamped on the medals for the Aug. 28-Sept. 8 Paralympics.
The iron items’ hexagonal kind represents France. The French generally discuss with their nation as “L’Hexagone” — the hexagon — due to its form.
Paris jewellery home Chaumet designed the medals. Six small clasps that maintain the iron items within the medals are a wink on the 2.5 million rivets that bind the Eiffel Tower collectively.
Across the iron items are disks of gold, silver or bronze. They’re crinkled to replicate the sunshine, making the medals shine. Video games organizers say the steel is all recycled, not newly mined.
ARE PARIS’ MEDALS UNIQUE?
Sure. Olympic medals have tended to be fairly sober. In what was a primary, medals for the 2008 Beijing Olympics contained inlaid jade disks. However Paris is the one host metropolis to incorporate chunks of a well-known monument.
“Having a gold medal is already one thing unimaginable. However we wished so as to add this French contact and we thought that the Eiffel Tower can be this cherry on the highest,” Roncin stated.
“Having a chunk of it’s a piece of historical past.”
The traditional Greek goddess of victory, Nike, options on the Olympic medals’ different aspect — as she has executed at each Video games since 1928. However Paris has additionally added a small illustration of the Eiffel Tower on that aspect, in one other break with custom.
The opposite aspect of the Paralympic medals exhibits a view of the tower as if wanting upward from beneath. For visually impaired folks, “Paris 2024” is written in Braille and the perimeters have notches: one for gold, two for silver, three for bronze.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Paris Mint is manufacturing 5,084 medals — about 2,600 for the Olympics and a pair of,400 for the Paralympics. That’s doubtless greater than shall be required. Some shall be saved in case that medals have to reassigned after the Video games, which might occur when medal-winners are subsequently stripped of the prizes for doping. Some go to museums. Some other spares might be destroyed.
The gold medals weigh 529 grams and are usually not pure gold. They’re made from silver and plated with 6 grams of gold.
The silvers weigh 525 grams.
The bronzes weigh 455 grams and are a copper, tin and zinc alloy.
The medals are 85 millimeters throughout and 9.2 millimeters thick.
They’ll are available a dark-blue field from Chaumet and a certificates from the Eiffel Tower Working Co. that the iron items got here from the monument. Paris organizers didn’t give a financial worth for the medals.