HomeNewsParis Olympic Medals Shine with Iconic Metal From Famous Eiffel Tower
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Paris Olympic Medals Shine with Iconic Metal From Famous Eiffel Tower

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Each gold, silver, and bronze medal at the upcoming Games and subsequent Paralympics will contain a hexagonal polished iron piece sourced from the renowned Eiffel Tower. Unveiled by organizers on Thursday, this unique design ensures that Parisian medalists, while making history at the Games, will also carry a tangible piece of French history with them. Unlike any of the approximately 36,600 medalists from the 29 preceding Summer Olympics dating back to 1896, these medals will possess this distinctive feature.

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The Eiffel Tower, standing at 330 meters (1,083 feet) tall and constructed from 18,038 iron parts, has a storied history. Originally built for the 1889 World’s Fair, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, engineer Gustave Eiffel intended it to last only 20 years. However, through periodic rejuvenation efforts and consistent maintenance, the 135-year-old tower has endured. Notably, the Eiffel Tower has played a part in two prior Games, namely in 1900 and 1924, the latter being the last time Paris hosted the Olympics.

Paris Olympic Medals

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The iron components at the core of the Olympic medals individually have a weight of 18 grams, equivalent to approximately two-thirds of an ounce. These components were obtained by cutting sections from girders and other fragments replaced during the renovation of the Eiffel Tower. Joachim Roncin, the head of design at the Paris Games organizing committee, revealed that these pieces were preserved for safekeeping.

Olympic medals have traditionally possessed a subdued aesthetic. A notable departure occurred in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where medals featured embedded jade disks. However, Paris stands out as the sole host city incorporating fragments of a renowned monument into its medals. The Olympic gold medals, weighing 529 grams, are not composed of pure gold; rather, they consist of silver plated with 6 grams of gold. Silver medals weigh 525 grams, while bronze medals, crafted from a copper, tin, and zinc alloy, tip the scales at 455 grams. These medals boast dimensions of 85 millimeters in diameter and 9.2 millimeters in thickness.

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