Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Gets Modern Makeover

French designer Mathieu Lehanneur’s torch concept for the Olympic and Paralympic Games blends themes of equality, water, peacefulness, and environmental consciousness.

Author: Jennifer N. Dienst       

man holding parts of metal torch

French designer Mathieu Lehanneur working with the torches he created for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. (Felipe Ribon/©Paris 2024)

Carried by 10,000 people over thousands of miles, the Olympic torch is a literal and figural manifestation of the energy behind the Games. For Paris 2024, the Torch will carry the flame for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games “as part of our strategy to build bridges between the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” according to a statement from the Games. “The latter already shares the same emblem and mascot with the former. At Paris 2024, we will also have a single Torch design.”

Equality was a key point of inspiration for the torch designed by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur. “For Paris 2024, and for the first time in its history, it plays on perfect symmetry, speaking to us more clearly about equality,” he said. “I wanted it to be extremely pure, iconic, almost elemental. As simple as a hyphen and as fluid as a flame…”

He also drew from two other themes defining Paris 2024 — water and peacefulness. Water, representing the role the Seine will play as a venue and setting, but also for the three oceans it will cross in its journey: the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific. And finally, peacefulness, which Lehanneur captured in the Torch’s gentle curves and graceful rounded lines.

All 2,000 torches will be constructed of 100-percent recycled steel in France by ArcelorMittal, a number five times smaller than previous Games. The Torch isn’t the only tangible item made from recycled materials for the Games; many of the interior fittings of the new Aquatics Centre will be crafted from recycled materials, including its spectator seats.

Jennifer N. Dienst is senior editor of Convene.

More Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Coverage

These stories are all part of the December 2023 Convene CMP Series and cover story. Convene will periodically check in with the progress of next year’s Olympic Games, one of the largest events in the world.

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