Dezeen Magazine

Symmetrical Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic torch unveiled

French designer Mathieu Lehanneur has revealed a symmetrical steel torch with a rippled texture informed by the River Seine for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.

Lehanneur's design is the same in shape, colour and material for both the Olympic and Paralympic torches, a decision that was made to promote equality and that marks the first time both games have had the same torch design.

Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games torch
The torch was designed to represent equality

Although Olympic and Paralympic torches typically share similarities in their designs, they usually have slight variations in shape or colour.

For 2024, the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, the only difference between the two torches is the games' symbols – the Olympic rings decorate one of the torches and the Paralympic symbol, the agitos, the other. Both feature the Olympic emblem, a medal-shaped flame and a pair of lips.

Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games torch
The Paralympic agitos symbol is the only differentiation between the two torches

"As part of our strategy to build bridges between the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the latter already shared the same emblem and mascot with the former," said Tony Estanguet, president of the Paris 2024 games.

"At Paris 2024, we will also have a single torch design."

According to Estanguet, Paris 2024 also marks the first time that as many women are taking part in the games as men.

Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games torch
It is made from recycled steel

Lehanneur aimed to represent this equality in the torch's design by making it symmetrical, both horizontally and vertically.

"For Paris 2024, and for the first time in its history, it plays on perfect symmetry, speaking to us more clearly about equality," said Lehanneur.

"I wanted it to be extremely pure, iconic, almost elemental," he continued.

Manufactured by steel company ArcelorMittal, the torch has a warm champagne colour and is made from 100 per cent recycled scrap steel.

It is 70 centimetres tall and has a symmetrical curving shape with a matte finish on the top half and a shiny, reflective finish on the bottom.

The torch's curved silhouette expands from a minimum diameter of 3.5 centimetres at each end to a maximum diameter of 10 centimetres at the centre.

Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games torch
One half of the torch has a matte finish

Lehanneur designed the torch with gentle curves and a rounded silhouette intended to evoke peacefulness, while water and the River Seine informed the ripple effect and the reflective surface on one half of the torch.

The majority of the torch's 1.5-kilogram weight is at its centre. This design was created to make it easier to carry than traditional top-heavy torches.

Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games torch
Ripples on the torch represent water

The torch will carry the Olympic flame in a relay of 10,000 torchbearers across France before lighting a cauldron on 26 July 2024, signifying the start of the games.

Once the Olympic games have closed, a second relay of 1,000 torchbearers will carry the Paralympic torch and flame and again light a cauldron for the commencement of the Paralympic games on 28 August.

Previous iterations of the Olympic torch include a recycled aluminium torch for the 2016 games in Rio and the Tokyo 2020 torch, which was designed to resemble cherry blossoms.

More images

Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games torch