Paris 2024 reveals official Games mascots, the Paralympic and Olympic Phryge
Introducing the Paralympic Phryge and the Olympic Phryge, two mascots that will be the primary ambassadors of the Paris 2024 Games14 Nov 2022
A Phrygian cap is a symbol of liberty, present at the heart of major historical events in France.
By Paris 2024 and IPC
The Paris 2024 Organising Committee has revealed the designs of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots on Monday, 14 November. These mascots are two little Phrygian caps that embody the French spirit, French values and are a strong symbol of France.
Always a double act - as a symbol of togetherness - the Olympic Phryge and the Paralympic Phryge are the leaders of a tribe who always have their trainers on. The Paris 2024 mascots aim to lead a revolution through sport. Their mission: to get the world moving in the run up to the Games and beyond.
By choosing to have a mascot with a visible disability, Paris 2024 aims to give maximum representation to people who are living with disabilities and to promote the inclusivity values of the Paralympic Games and of sport as a whole.
A symbol: The Phrygian cap
A symbol of liberty, present at the heart of many major historical events in France, the famous Phrygian cap directly inspired the mascots of Paris 2024.
“We chose an ideal to represent the mascot of Paris 2024, that is to say, a symbol," said Tony Estanguet, President of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee. "Why the Phrygian cap? It is a symbol that is very important. A French symbol, of course. It perfectly embodies the French Republic. You know this symbol well because it is a symbol that is already in our daily lives.
"This symbol that you already know, all of you, is also a symbol that will be embodied by the mascots of Paris 2024. It’s a symbol that is known across the entire world, that has a very strong meaning.”
An international symbol of liberty worn by freed slaves in Greece and Rome and appearing on many different emblems in North and South America alike, the Phrygian cap has also become one of the symbols of the French Republic.
Spanning a long tradition, Phrygian caps have accompanied the French people during many of the country’s most important historical moments dating back to as early as 1163, on the building site of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral. Their presence at the French Revolution of 1789 is especially well-known.
With their rich history, the Phrygian caps have become a common reference point in political, social and artistic revolutions: in art as a metaphor for freedom, within French institutions worn by Marianne in every town hall as a symbol of the Republic.
They can also be seen on everyday objects such as coins and stamps.
The mascots' mission: A revolution through sport
With a thousand years of experience, the Phryges know that revolutions require preparation. For the Paris 2024 Games, we see a new generation of Phryges who always have their trainers on and who have come to help the nation start a new revolution through sport.
The Paralympic and Olympic Phryge are driven by one simple belief: sport has the power to change everything - our lives, our health, our relationships with others and with nature. It’s time to incorporate sport into our everyday lives, whether as athletes or as fans.
“Phryges have been around for more than a thousand years," said Julie Matikhine, Chief Brand Officer of Paris 2024. "Generations and generations of Phryges have accompanied the French people in all the major events that we have had in our history since the 10th century. In France, they were present at all kinds of revolutions, in every era. During each of these major events, during each of these revolutions, the Phryges were there.
“Today it is a new generation of Phryges that you see. Wearing trainers, these are sports Phryges that have come back because we have a new major event coming up, the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This is an occasion to lead our next revolution, the revolution for sport. They are on a mission that is very simple and very complex at the same time. They have come to show to the French people that sport can change everything and that is worth giving it a place of priority in our society.”
The Paris 2024 mascots will act as role models to bring the greatest number of people along on the Games journey. The Paralympic mascot, in particular, proudly sports a running blade to help as wide an audience as possible to identify with the sports movement.
“We decided that the Paralympic mascot will have a running blade prosthesis because we are conscious that the majority of disabilities are not visible," Estanguet said. "We thought that this is a strong message to have a mascot with a visible disability precisely to showcase the values of the Paralympic Games, to show our appreciation for these differences. For persons with a disability, it is a message of inclusion on the occasion of organising the first Paralympic Summer Games in our country.”
Two mascots, two personalities
The Paralympic and Olympic Phryges are leaders of the wider Phryge tribe, holding onto a strong sense of community.
While they are inseparable and best friends who look out for each other, the Paris 2024 mascots also have different personalities.
The Paralympic Phryge is a real party animal, spontaneous and a bit hotheaded. It is not afraid of anything and always up for new experiences. Rallying people around it with infectious energy and enthusiasm, the Paralympic Phryge will bring out the best supporter in you, spread the values of sport and encourage everyone to celebrate the athletes.
The Olympic Phryge is a fine tactician and the smart one of the bunch. A true mathematician, it never starts anything without thinking it all through.
Together the Paris 2024 mascots will test out different sports and other activities, train hard and put all their energy into promoting the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“These two Phryges are the main characters in a bigger tribe of small Phrygian caps," Matikhine said. "These Phryges are all members of the same family, a bit like the Smurfs and the Minions. Here each character has its own story, its own personality, but they also resemble each other."
Concept: The birth of the mascots
To create an original mascot that inspires and unites, the creative teams of Paris 2024 went in search of a powerful symbol. Then they gave it a shape, features and personality.
A lot of creative collaboration was required to develop the Paralympic and Olympic mascots from their original concept. Even the slightest curves and smallest lines were the subject of long hours of discussions and sketching sessions.
The creative teams paid particular attention to two crucial aspects of the characters:
The eye: intended to be mischievous and expressive, it also looks like the ‘cockade of France’ (the French national ornament).
Their love of sport: this had to be expressed through the mascots' outline, their clothes and their gestures. The creative teams had to find the right proportions and fit for their accessories in order to create dynamic, athletic mascots that were also inclusive and able to break down the stereotypes of the “perfect body”.
The mascots first appear in two dimensions, but they will also be made into different collectible items, including plush toys.
Paris 2024 has chosen two small and medium-sized French companies as official licensees for the production and distribution of these plush toys: Gipsy and Doudou et Compagnie.
The know-how that goes into making plush toys has practically disappeared in Europe in recent decades due to the large-scale production lines in Asia. Now, thanks to the momentum of the Paris 2024 Games, Doudou et Compagnie have decided to bring some of their production home to their factory in Brittany. By 2024, 8% of their plush toy mascots will be manufactured in France, taking up the huge challenge of bringing plush toy making expertise back to France and Europe in general.
The two companies have committed to making their plush toys using eco-friendly materials. As such, 100% of the Gipsy plush toys will be made from recycled materials. Doudou are also choosing eco-friendly materials: 100% recycled stuffing fibres, eco-friendly packaging, recycled stitching and embroidery.
To raise awareness about disabilities, Doudou et Compagnie also strove to create the most accurate Paralympic mascot they could, investing in a special manufacturing mould to recreate the mascot’s blade as realistically as possible. This feature had to be soft to the touch but also to reflect the strength of a carbon blade.
Under the sole of the shoe, Paris 2024 is written in braille to showcase the importance of accessibility.
The mascots can now be found on the official online shops of paris2024.org and carrefour.fr, the Partner and Official Licensee of Paris 2024.
From 15 November, the mascots will be available at the Carrefour shops, in specialised toy, sport and department stores as well as the first official Paris 2024 shop located in the Forum des Halles in Paris.
Meet the mascots
As ambassadors of the Paris 2024 Games, the Paralympic Phryge and the Olympic Phryge will travel across France to meet people, attend all the major events of Paris 2024 throughout the country and all the biggest sporting and cultural events taking place in France.