This morning marked an exciting little milestone on the pathway to this summer’s Paris Olympics, as the medals were revealed for the first time. Each Olympic cycle sees a total redesign of the medals, in a bid to mark the culture and history of the host city – and this year’s, created by Chaumet, the LVMH group’s House of Jewellery, with design help from the Paris 2024 Athletes’ Commission, are no different.
The front side of the medals features the Paris 2024 branding on a piece of iron – and that piece of iron has come straight from the original metalwork on the Eiffel Tower, built in 1889 for the World’s Fair and still the most iconic (don’t come for us, Parisians!) feature of the city’s skyline. The back side of the medals features the familiar imagery of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, flanked by the Parthenon, representing the original Olympics, and the Eiffel Tower, another nod to the modern day. (Not pictured, but relevant, is the Louvre, where you can see the Winged Victory of Samothrace, arguably the most famous depiction of Nike in art.)
The Paralympic medals feature the same front side, but the back side, instead, shows the Eiffel Tower from below, and features red neck ribbons, rather than the blue of the Olympic design.
The medals were launched today in a star-studded ceremony attended by Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024 and three-time Olympic champion; Antoine Arnault, Environment & Image LVMH; Martin Fourcade, President of the Paris 2024 Athletes’ Commission, former biathlete and five-time Olympic champion; Béatrice Hess, former swimmer with 20 Paralympic titles; Alex Portal, silver and bronze medal-winning swimmer at the Paralympic Games and qualified for Paris 2024; Koumba Larroque, third in the 2023 World Wrestling Championships and qualified for Paris 2024; and Pauline Déroulède, three-time French champion and France’s No. 1 wheelchair tennis player.
The group promptly headed to the Eiffel Tower itself to bring the medals ‘home’ – a fitting reveal before the winning begins in just 169 days. Who’ll go home with them? Only time – and not an awful lot of it, now! – will tell.