In-Seine Facts | The ultimate Eiffel Tower souvenir

The average tourist may return from Paris with an Eiffel Tower key ring or notebook. Olympians and Paralympians, however, will return with the most unique souvenir of all with a historic part of the city etched into the medal around their necks.

Did you know that if an athlete from the Victorian Institute of Sport wins a medal in the upcoming Olympic or Paralympic Games in Paris, they will take home a piece of the Eiffel Tower?

Over 10,000 Olympic athletes and 4,000 Paralympic athletes from all over the globe will compete in the French capital across July, August and September for the chance to win one of 5,084 gold, silver and bronze medals.

The Olympic and Paralympic medals, designed by French designer Chaumet, feature intricate details that distinguish these medals from any that have come before them.

The Eiffel Tower's iconic latticework structure is replicated on the ribbons of this year's medals, with the winners of Olympic Games events presented with a medal bearing a blue ribbon. Paralympic Games winners will receive a medal with a Venetian red-brown ribbon that is meant to reflect the original colours of the Eiffel Tower, which has stood for 135 years.

While the two medals for the two different games differ, they share a side featuring an embedded fragment of iron from what is the most iconic structure on the Paris skyline.

During renovations of the original tower, which is required to be repainted every seven years, certain metallic elements were permanently removed from the monument and conserved. In the words of Paris organisers, the pieces are being allowed to "find glory again".

An 18-gram piece of puddle iron is featured on the centre of each medal, in its natural colour, and the iron has been reshaped into a hexagon to honour the shape that represents France. The iron is held in place by six metal appendages on each corner, which resemble the Eiffel Tower rivets themselves.

Since 2004, Olympic and Paralympic medals have featured the goddess of victory Athena Nike, emerging to witness the revival of the Games.

For this edition of medals, the Acropolis is uniquely accompanied by the Eiffel Tower, honouring the origins of both the ancient Games in Greece and the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games in France.

The Paralympic medals display an upward perspective from beneath the Eiffel Tower on their alternate side, allowing athletes to see a view of the tower rarely seen.

While the words 'Paris 2024' and 'Paralympic Games' are visible above and below the tower, on either side of the tower the text is written in the symbolic language of accessibility, universal Braille.

First done in the 2020 Tokyo Games, there will be engravings on the edges of the medal (one for gold, two for silver and three for bronze), allows athletes with visual impairments to appreciate the intricacies of the medal.

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