The 2024 Paris Olympics Reuses Pieces of the Eiffel Tower for Medals — Details Here

Anna Garrison - Author

Feb. 9 2024, Published 3:58 p.m. ET

Paris Olympics 2024 rings in front of the Eiffel Tower
Source: Getty Images

Each time the Olympics occur, organizers go above and beyond to ensure the spectacle and spirit of the games go above and beyond the previous Olympics. In 2024, the Summer Olympics and Paralympics will take place in Paris, France, from July 26 to August 11.

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In the spirit of sustainability and unique ideas, Paris Olympics organizers announced on Feb. 8, 2024, that the Olympic medals presented to winners would contain a polished piece of scrap iron from the Eiffel Tower. Here's what to know about this fun twist, plus some of the 2024 Paris Olympics' other sustainability practices.

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The 2024 Paris Olympic medals will include pieces of the Eiffel Tower.

Olympics organizers announced on Feb. 8, 2024, that a polished piece of scrap iron taken from the Eiffel Tower itself will embedded on all gold, silver, and bronze medals for the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

According to BBC News, the creative director of Paris 2024, Thierry Reboul, said of this decision, "It's the opportunity for the athletes to bring back a piece of Paris with them. The absolute symbol of Paris and France is the Eiffel Tower."

The Eiffel Tower is a global icon at 1,083 feet, but the Associated Press (AP) reports that engineer Gustave Eiffel never intended for the monument to stand for longer than 20 years.

The monument has undergone many renovations to keep it in tip-top shape. When renovations are completed, the scraps are stored in a secret location.

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Now, those pieces of scrap metal have been repurposed into hexagons attached to the medal. The hexagon represents how the French often refer to their country as "L'Hexagone" due to its shape, per the AP. The other side features the image of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike.

According to the official Olympics website, French luxury jewelry designer Chaumet designed the medals.

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The president of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, Tony Estanguet, said in a statement that the change in medal design would enhance the medal's uniqueness:

"There was a huge amount done to try to bring together these precious metals — gold, silver and bronze — with the most precious metal in the Eiffel Tower, the jewel in the French crown. So what’s specific about the 2024 medals is that meshing together, that fusion, that alloy…"

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The 2024 Paris Olympics have a sustainability plan in place for the games.

While it's not a secret that the Olympics can have a negative environmental impact, the 2024 Paris event organizers have a "Legacy and Sustainability Plan" in place.

The goals for the 2024 Paris Olympics include "a carbon neutral approach" and to "protect, regenerate, and recognize the value of biodiversity at Olympic and Paralympic venues."

Some of the means of accomplishing these goals include labeling animal and plant species that live at each competition site to create awareness, protecting animal habitats near venues, managing waste effectively and reducing the need for excess materials or reusing as much as possible, approaching everything with an eco-friendly design in mind, and anticipating, avoiding, and measuring carbon emissions.

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