Paris 2024: discover the “Phryges”, the two mascots of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

Before each edition of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, this is one of the most anticipated moments. 620 days before the start of the Olympic Games, the mascot for the Paris 2024 Games was unveiled on Monday, November 14, at the headquarters of the Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Cojop). A pair of red Phrygian caps, sneakers on their feet, right leg prosthesis for the Paralympic phryge, tricolor flags in the corner of their blue eyes, will therefore represent the Paris Games. These two phryges will be used in all Olympic and Paralympic sports, and will also represent supporters.

With the Phrygian cap, the organizers have opted for a reference known to all, symbol of freedom, allegorical figure of the French Republic, and which is visible in many places and areas of our society: the essential work of Eugène Delacroix of Liberty Leading the Peopleto busts of Marianne in town halls and other public administrative buildings, to our daily life on our stamps.

The duo of mascots will be available in all Olympic and Paralympic sports, and will also represent supporters. (Paris 2024)

“Above all, the Phrygian cap is now explained in primary schools since it has become compulsory in EMC (moral and civic education) for children aged 9-10, notes Julie Matikhine, director of the Paris 2024 brand. It is also so true that in the different groups of tests that we did with the children on the mascot, they all recognized the hat and its values.

This symbol is also known and understood outside our borders, assures the Cojop. “It is a powerful symbol in the world, say the Paris 2024 teams. From ancient times to our contemporary history, peoples have proudly worn this cap to express their freedom: freed slaves in ancient Rome, countries of Latin America who recover its meaning as in Nicaragua and Colombia or even on the flag of New York State to signify freedom, independence, and justice.”

The organizers have decided to create a complementary duo of mascots, genderless, but with a female name, called the and the “phryge(s)”. This mascot, signed as a collective work piloted by Paris 2024, is thus composed of an Olympic phryge and a Paralympic phryge. “These are the two heroes of the tribe of Phryges, a people who accompany them like the Smurfs or some minions“, explains Julie Matikhine. Between them, their mission will be, less than two years from the Paris Games, to “to get France and the French moving, to initiate them or re-initiate them to sport”, emphasizes Julie Matikhine, as well as to broadcast “the spirit of the perfect supporter”.

“They aim to demonstrate that sport can change everything, and that it deserves to have a prominent place in our society.”

Julie Matikhine, Paris 2024 Brand Director

at franceinfo: sport

“But we are not there yet culturally in our country. We therefore need these little characters to lead this revolution among the French”, explains Julie Matikhin. To achieve this, these two characters, “with very different personalities, each will have a particular role to play in the overall narrative”, says the director of the Paris 2024 brand.

On one side, the Olympic phryge is “the intellectual, who never embarks on anything without having calculated everything, with a little crafty and seductive side, but it is also very emotional”, details Julie Matikhine. In contrast, the Paralympic phryge is “an extroverted party girl with overflowing energy, spontaneous, a little hotheaded and always up for new experiences”she continues.

As usual, Paris 2024 wanted “break the codes” and differentiate itself from previous editions. For this, the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Cojop) left the traditional choice of the typical animal of the host country, used in 65% of the editions. Eliminated also the simple idea of ​​the gargoyles of Notre-Dame, the baguette and the croissant or the famous French rooster. Too simple, too expected.

“We were almost ready not to make a mascot if we couldn’t find a real reason to do so, and a real message to convey to it”, slip Julie Matikhine, before concluding:The mascot must embody the French spirit, which is something very fine to grasp. It is an ideal, a kind of conviction which carries the values ​​of our country, and which has been built over time, over history.

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