Paris 2024’s Artistic Torch Crafted by Designer Mathieu Lehanneur

Paris 2024 presented the Torch which will carry the Olympic and Paralympic Flames, bringing the Games back to France 100 years after the last Olympic Summer Games were held in Paris. In Marseille, on 8 May 2024, the Flame from the Paris 2024 Torch will open the Games with the Olympic Torch Relay – and its Official Sponsors Coca-Cola, Banques Populaires and Caisses d’Epargne – until the Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony.

An iconic object of the Games, the Torch embodies the identity of each edition through its shape, colour and inspirations. It is an art piece in its own right. Because the Flame will be reaching French people throughout the country and across the seas and the oceans, the Torch had to reflect the image of the Paris 2024 Games. To create it, Paris 2024 chose to work with French designer Mathieu Lehanneur. 

Born in 1974, Mathieu Lehanneur is an internationally renowned French designer. A multi-disciplinary pioneer, he works in a wide variety of creative fields ranging from object to architecture, art to product design, unique hand-crafted items to cutting-edge design technology. His projects combine innovation, magic, design, science, art and an ambition to enhance user well-being.

Mathieu Lehanneur’s works stretch across countless fields of expression: projects linked to mobility (hybrid engine boat, foldable electric bike), street furniture, interior design for museums and shops, technological product design, exclusive works, etc.

Mathieu Lehanneur’s collaboration with prestigious brands, leading institutions and start-ups has often been characterised by a desire to combine aesthetics and sustainability. His projects include a solar street lighting furniture concept launched during COP-21 in Paris and a plant home air filtration system created in partnership with Harvard University, based on a study developed by NASA. For the latter project, the multi-award-winning designer was awarded the Best Invention Award by US magazine Popular Science.

At the forefront of French design, Mathieu Lehanneur’s works can be found in the most prominent public and private collections in the world, including those of the Pompidou Centre and the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts, as well as the Museums of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco.

PARIS 2024-TORCHE CIEL-Credit photo Felipe Ribon
Photo: Felipe Ribon

A designer selected following a call for tenders

The designer of the Olympic and Paralympic torches and cauldrons was selected following a call for tenders by Paris 2024, in which applicants were invited to demonstrate their understanding of the organisers’ creative ambition. Mathieu Lehanneur was chosen for his poetic and highly symbolic approach, along with his ability to grasp the values and expectations of Paris 2024.

“What a joy to be part of this adventure and what a responsibility to contribute to the history of the Games in this way! Partnering with Paris 2024 to design the torches and cauldrons means giving a visible form to a set of values and transforming a state of mind into iconic objects. Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together… My objective is to take this Olympic motto and add: more beautiful, lighter, more lavish.”

Mathieu Lehanneur, designer
photo Felipe Ribon
Photo: Felipe Ribon

The Olympic and Paralympic torches and cauldrons, key symbols of the Games

Before each edition of the Games, the torch carries a flame. For the Olympic Games, the flame is lit by the sun’s rays at a ceremony held in the Temple of Hera at Olympia, Greece, in tribute to the Ancient Olympic Games. For the Paralympic Games, the flame is created at Stoke Mandeville, Great Britain, the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement.

From each lighting place the torchbearers will carry the respective flames through France to the Opening Ceremonies of each Games, where the cauldron is lit, and the Games declared open.

The Olympic and Paralympic torches and cauldrons are mythical objects of the modern Games. They symbolise the spirit of an edition of the Games through their design, which is usually linked to the culture and characteristics of the host country.

The Paris 2024 Torch is manufactured by ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel company and a Paris 2024 Official Partner. 2,000 torches will be produced by ArcelorMittal, five times fewer than for previous editions of the Games, in order to reduce the impact of production. Through its know-how and power of innovation, ArcelorMittal is also contributing to reducing the carbon footprint of the Torch manufacturer.