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Paris Olympics medals made with pieces of the Eiffel Tower

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The upcoming Paris Olympics are set to offer athletes a truly unique prize: medals that include a piece of the Eiffel Tower! For the games happening from July 26 to August 11, and the following Paralympics, each medal will feature a polished hexagon of iron from the iconic Parisian landmark.

This groundbreaking design was unveiled by the Games organisers, setting a new precedent in Olympic medal design.

The Eiffel Tower, standing tall at 330 meters, was originally constructed with 18,038 iron parts for the 1889 World’s Fair. It was meant to last only 20 years but has stood the test of time, thanks to regular maintenance and renovations. This isn’t the first time the Eiffel Tower has been part of the Olympics; it played a role in the Games of 1900 and 1924, both held in Paris.

The iron for the medals, each piece weighing 18 grams, was sourced from parts of the tower removed during upkeep and kept in storage. The idea to include a piece of the Eiffel Tower in the medals was born from a desire to embed a globally recognised symbol of France into the awards, making them not just a prize, but a piece of history.

These iron pieces were meticulously prepared by removing any paint, polishing, and varnishing them for their new role in the medals. They are also stamped with the Paris 2024 logo, the Olympic rings, or the Paralympic logo, depending on the event.

Designed by the Parisian jewellery house Chaumet, the medals feature six small clasps holding the iron piece, reflecting the 2.5 million rivets that hold the Eiffel Tower together. The gold, silver, or bronze disks surrounding the iron are textured to catch the light, and all the metal used is recycled.

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