The Olympic and Paralympic mascots for Paris 2024 have been revealed as two Phrygian caps were decked out in France’s national colours. The two characters, known as the Olympic and Paralympic Phryges, are characterized as having “mischievous and expressive eyes” and wearing the shining Paris 2024 logo across their chests. The Paralympic mascot has a running blade, making him the Games’ first mascot with a visible disability.
“We chose an ideal rather than an animal, We chose the Phrygian cap because it’s a very strong symbol for the French Republic. For French people, it’s a very well-known object that is a symbol of freedom…” said Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet at the mascot unveiling ceremony in Saint-Denis on November 14, 2022.
Also Read: Paris organizers reveal mascot for Olympics, Paralympics
What does it mean?
“The fact that the Paralympic mascot has a visible disability sends a strong message: inclusion,” added Tony. The Olympic Phryge is described as “a tactician with a calculating brain,” whereas the Paralympic Phryge is “spontaneous and full of energy and enthusiasm.”
According to the official IOC website, their name is pronounced: “fri-jee-uhs.”
Also Read: Column: Izzy’s long run as worst Olympic mascot is over
The Phryges, according to Julie Matikhine, who is the brand manager of the Paris 2024 Games, “is a mascot who embodies the French spirit. An ideal that carries our country’s values, a piece of our history, and a unique perspective on the world.”
History and significance
These mascots, as simple as they would seem, are not under-conceptualized, though Paris organisers appear to be undecided about their gender, referring to them as “it” at times and “she” at others. However, the history of these mascots is rather intriguing.
Describing the Olympic Phryge, Matikhine said, “It’s a fine tactician, it’s a mascot who is extremely focused, who thinks everything through before it acts. It analyses the terrain, the situation. It never launches into anything without calculating the risks. It is also very French, with a great charm, and with a sensitivity that it tries in vain to hide.”
Of the Paralympic Phryge, she said, “In a way it’s the twin of the Olympic Phryge. It is a real party animal, extremely extroverted, it is a people person, it brings the party and its charisma with it wherever it goes, rallying everyone around it, spontaneously and naturally.”
Aside from the backstories and appearances, organisers hope the mascots will connect with fans and children, inspiring the French public to appreciate sports even more than they already do. And, they add, the mascots’ dolls and other merchandise are already for sale, more than 600 days before the start of the Paris Summer Games.