The Legacy of Parisian Style in 2024 Olympic Medals


French jeweller Chaumet inset with real fragments of Eiffel Tower to adorn the Paris 2024 Olympic medals.

Posted on May 6, 2024

In 2024, the main host city of the Summer Olympics is Paris. Undoubtedly, the host city’s organizing committee has an incredible amount of work to do, and one of their responsibilities is to develop the design of the gold, silver, and bronze medals. As Paris is known to be the capital of style and fashion, the design of medals was granted to one of the leading companies – Chaumet Paris Atelier, which is a part of the LVMH Group.

The LVMH Company inked a significant sponsorship agreement with the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the summer of 2023 and secured the position of the Games’  “Premium Partner.” Luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dior are also part of the Group and will be noticeably present at the Games, along with Moët Hennessy, the Champagne producer owned by LVMH.

The designers found their inspiration in the symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. Games organizers want the most prominent athletes to hold and admire something more than medals, but a bit of genuine history of Paris, and not metaphorically. Each medal contains original ironwork from the 19th-century tower remade in the shape of a hexagon. The historical monument underwent renovations in the 20th century, during which some metallic pieces were removed and, as mentioned in the statement issued, “have been carefully preserved ever since.”

Not only are the pieces of the famous landmark included in the medals symbolic, but the entire design is as well. The center features hexagonal parts of the tower’s ironwork with the Paris 2024 logo, which previously was cleaned of dark brown paint and cut into the required shape. An unusual and meaningful element of the medals is the curved lines that project from the centerpiece and resemble sun rays. This motif was intended to “make the athletes shine even brighter.” Clémentine Massonnat-Schaller, creative director at Chaumet, said that she was encouraged by both the Eiffel Tower and the prominent history of the luxury jewelry house. Exploring the Chaumet’s archives, the attention was grabbed by the house’s rich history of crafting tiaras embellished with gemstones. The idea behind it is that people shine as if from inside when they wear tiaras.

Also, some elements of the Olympic medals signify that the jewelry house developed the designs. Artisans used the “claw” setting to keep the iron hexagonal parts in place the same way gems are secured in a piece of jewelry. According to Clémentine Massonnat-Schaller, the design aimed to unwrap the hexagonal centerpiece “like a precious stone.

This year’s Olympic and Paralympic medals share the obverse side with the same design. This is a departure from previous years, where the medals had distinct faces. The innovative idea represents a “coming together” of the two events, as Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet explained. However, the reverse sides diverge – the Olympic medal includes an image of Nike, the goddess of victory in Greek mythology, while the Paralympics medal features a unique perspective of the Eiffel Tower as if viewed from below.

The Olympic Torch Relay portends the start of the Olympic Games. Meanings and values are translated through the appearance of the torch. French designer Mathieu Lehanneur created the Paris 2024 torch design with a ripple effect aimed at resembling moving water. This year’s Games are rich in innovations, and one of them is that a 3.3-pound torch made from recycled steel will be used for both the Olympics and Paralympics.

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