Winners at the Paris 2024 Olympics Will Take Back a Piece of History

The medals for champions of all abilities include part of the Eiffel Tower!

Skyline of Paris with the Eiffel Tower at sunset.

(Catarina Belova /

This year, Olympic stars can own history after making it! Not to be outdone in the style and symbolism stakes, organizers in the French capital, hosting this summer’s Olympic Games, have commissioned a series of remarkable medals for the Olympic winners of all abilities in this year’s milestone events.

The winning sportspeople in both the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games Sports between August 28 and September 8, and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games between July 26 and August 11, are set to receive a medal featuring a little piece of the beautiful city’s famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower. It has been designed by the illustrious French jewelry house, Chaumet, as the official Olympics site details.

These esteemed prizes feature a piece of the Eiffel Tower! 

“We wanted to have this French touch, and we thought that the Eiffel Tower would be this cherry on the top,“ Joachim Roincin, Head of Design, Paris Games tells 9 News Australia. This desire has meant that each Olympic medal is adorned with 18 grams of iron from the original Eiffel Tower built in 1889,  at its center. 

This was possible because the pieces of metal had been taken from the city’s iconic landmark during routine maintenance over the years, and stored in a warehouse. 

“To have the Eiffel Tower present in the medal is for us the best demonstration that we want to offer the best of France to all the athletes,” says Paris Organizing Committee President, 

Tony Estanguet. In his view, the athletes who will have made so many sacrifices can now cherish this piece of Paris close to their hearts.

This is only the third time ever that Paris has been the setting for the Olympic Games, as it hosted its first in 1900, and the second in 2024, reports History.

Buoyed by the creative skills of a renowned Parisian jewelry house

Chaumet is a Parisian jewelry house founded back in 1780. Soon afterwards, the Maison quickly became the official jeweller to Empress Josephine, and it has reflected pivotal periods in the evolution of art and design since. These take in the nature-inspired romanticism of the nineteenth century and the Art Deco trend of the early twentieth century.

As the Olympics site explains, the creative team at Chaumet was this year faced with a challenging brief: to bring creativity and meaning to a classic and essential object, the medal for Olympic winners, but to make it even more special.

The lightbulb moment of including an actual piece of the Eiffel Tower in it, and accompanying it  with a supporting certificate of authenticity, provided the direction. But how could this be done? Chaumet used the expertise it is known for worldwide to work artistically, not with a timeless precious stone like a ruby, but a material that had aged, still treating it like an exceptional jewel.

Now, shaped into a hexagon, the Eiffel Tower piece has been set inside the medals like a jewel, and is surrounded by precious metals which have been crafted into ridges that sparkle in the light for the bronze, silver and gold medals. For the creators, this bold and confident  reinvention of the most coveted of awards for elite athletes is a perfect match for their sporting feats. 

France is often referred to as L'Hexagone or The Hexagon because of the geographic shape of its territory, as SHC outlines. So Clémentine Massonnat, creative director of Chaumet, explains: “We consulted the archives department with two main ideas in mind: to process this piece of Eiffel Tower in the shape of a hexagon to represent France, and to put it in the centre of the medal and in the centre of a work of radiating and faceting gold.”

An Olympics article highlighting the backstory behind the metals, also draws attention to the deliberate irregularity of the shiny metals of the medals, around the centered metal hexagon. The head of the workshops,  Benoît Verhulle, explains that this focus on the irregularity built into the design is there to highlight the uniqueness of Olympic winners.

Alongside the Eiffel Tower, the medals also feature the traditional figure of The Goddess Nike in front of the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens where the Olympic Games were first revived in 1896.

As an additional, thoughtful gesture, on the front of the Paralympic medals, ensuring accessibility, the name of the edition has been written in Braille around a depiction of the Eiffel Tower landmark.