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Olympic winners will cop an Eiffel of history – medals to include part of famous Tower

Olympic medallists from the Paris Games will be rewarded with a piece of the Eiffel Tower as organisers unveiled the hexagon-shaped medals forged out of scrap metal from one of the world’s great monuments.

Feb 09, 2024, updated Feb 09, 2024
The Paris 2024 Olympic gold medal is presented to the press, in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024. A hexagonal, polished piece of iron taken from the Eiffel Tower is being embedded in each gold, silver and bronze medal that will be hung around athletes' necks at the July 26-Aug. 11 Paris Games and Paralympics that follow. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

The Paris 2024 Olympic gold medal is presented to the press, in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024. A hexagonal, polished piece of iron taken from the Eiffel Tower is being embedded in each gold, silver and bronze medal that will be hung around athletes' necks at the July 26-Aug. 11 Paris Games and Paralympics that follow. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

The innovative idea was to link the Games with symbols of France, said Thierry Reboul, creative director of Paris 2024 on Thursday.

“The absolute symbol of Paris and France is the Eiffel Tower,” said Reboul. “It’s the opportunity for the athletes to bring back a piece of Paris with them.”

Designed by jeweller Chaumet, the 18-gram hexagon tokens, representing the shape of France, are made of iron from past refurbishments of the Tower stored for years in a warehouse whose location is secret.

They sit in the centre of the gold, silver and bronze medals, ringed with grooves evoking light rays bursting outward – drawn from a tiara design in Chaumet’s archives.

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The back of the medals features the Greek goddess of victory, Nike, charging forward, with the Acropolis to one side and the Eiffel Tower to the other.

Paralympics medals feature a view of the Eiffel Tower from underneath, and are stamped with Paris 2024 in braille – homage to the Frenchman who invented it.

The 5084 medals are produced by France’s mint, the Monnaie de Paris.

The Games are scheduled for July 26 to August 11.

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