Agitos, the symbol of the Paralympic Games, adorns the Arc de Triomphe in a historic first

In two months’ time, the eyes of the world will be on Paris and France as they host the Paralympic Games for the first time in their history. With 61 days to go, Paris continues to dress up the City of Lights in the colours of the Games. On Friday 28 June of the Paralympic Agitos were installed on the Arc de Triomphe, with their inauguration coming three weeks after the Olympic rings were placed on the Eiffel Tower.  

For the first time in the history of the Games, the Paralympic Agitos are being displayed in their giant format before the start of the Olympic Games. This powerful gesture by Paris 2024 brings the pre-Games rings and Agitos to life together for the first time. It is also a symbol of the ambition that Paris 2024 has for the Paralympic Games. By installing the Agitos in the heart of the capital on one its most famous buildings, Paris 2024 is shining a spotlight on the Paralympic Games and heralding the celebrations to come.   

A historic first 

The Agitos are the visual representation of the worldwide Paralympic Movement. Their name comes from Latin and means “I move”. Their shape represents athletes from all over the world moving together towards a central point, the Paralympic Games. The three colours symbolise the three most commonly used colours of national flags from around the world.  

At each edition of the Paralympic Games, the Paralympic Agitos are placed in an iconic location of the host city: Tower Bridge in London in 2012, Copacabana Beach in Rio in 2016, and Tokyo Bay in Tokyo in 2021.  Until now, the Agitos have always been displayed after the Olympic Games have ended, and once the rings have been removed. In a historic first, Paris 2024 will spectacularly display the Agitos a month before the opening of the Olympic Games. 

Turning the most beautiful street in the world into the avenue of the Paralympic Games 

The Champs-Elysées is no stranger to celebrating sporting achievements and welcoming the world. The Arc de Triomphe, like the Eiffel Tower, is a must-see in Paris, and boasts over 1.75 million visitors every year. The Arc de Triomphe reaches a height of some 50 metres and the Agitos will be a powerrful beacon at the top of the monument.  

With their addition the Champs-Elysées will become the avenue of the Paralympic Games: at the top end of the avenue are the Agitos on the Arc de Triomphe; at the bottom end will be the Opening Ceremony, which takes place on 28 August on the Place de la Concorde. It will be an unprecedented ceremony, as for the first time it will take place outside a stadium and be delivered in the heart of the city. 

During the night of 27 to 28 June, teams from ArcelorMittal, an official partner of the Paris 2024 Games, carried out this high-precision assembly on the monument, in conjunction with the Centre des Monuments Nationaux and Paris 2024. The work required the use of cranes, drones, and rope access technicians. The Agitos were made in France from 100% recycled steel. Installed 44 metres above the ground on the Arc de Triomphe, each Agitos is seven metres high and three metres wide, and their total span will be 12 metres wide and nine metres high.  

“I am proud to see these Paralympic Agitos at the top of the Arc de Triomphe and that we are the first host country of the Games to display them at the same time as the Olympic rings. From now on, everyone will be able to see them in the heart of the capital, and on 28 August, the Avenue des Champs Elysées will become the Avenue of the Paralympic Games for an Opening Ceremony on the Place de la Concorde that promises to be unforgettable.”  Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024 

“To see the Agitos, the symbol of the Paralympic Movement, on one of the most recognisable landmarks in the whole world is a very special moment and one that really does announce that the Paralympic Games are imminent in Paris.”Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee 

“We are immensely proud to see the Arc de Triomphe, a symbol of Paris and France around the world, adorned with the emblem of the Paralympic Games. In addition, the Centre des Monuments Nationaux as a whole is taking part in the Olympic movement, with the Flame being carried through many of its monuments and an ambitious cultural programme echoing the Paris 2024 Games, such as the exceptional exhibition on the history of the Paralympics at the Panthéon, which illustrates the values of inclusion and surpassing oneself.”Marie Lavandier, President of the Centre des monuments nationaux (CMN) 

“After the Olympic Rings, ArcelorMittal is delighted to have accompanied Paris 2024 in the manufacture and installation of the Paralympic Agitos, symbols of our shared values of inclusion, diversity and surpassing oneself. Manufactured in France by ArcelorMittal teams proud to demonstrate their expertise, these Agitos are made of 100% recycled steel, offering a reduced carbon footprint, in line with Paris 2024’s objectives of halving its CO2 emissions.”Éric Niedziela, Chairman of ArcelorMittal France 

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