The Olympic Phryge and Paralympic Phryge were on Monday introduced to the world as the official mascots for Paris 2024, the newest ambassadors of the Olympic movement.
While animals have largely dominated the list of mascots that have graced the Games ever since Shuss, a red, white and blue little man on skis, appeared at the Olympic Winter Games Grenoble 1968, phrygian caps got the nod for 2024. The Phryges embody the spirit and values of Paris 2024 and will serve as the connection between the Games and the people.
Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024 said: “At Paris 2024, we wanted mascots that would embody our vision and be able to share it with the French people and the world. Rather than an animal, our mascots represent an ideal. The Phrygian cap is a symbol of liberty. Since it is familiar to us and appears on our stamps and the pediments of our town halls, it also represents French identity and spirit.
“The Paris 2024 mascots also speak volumes about our commitment to a more inclusive society. One of them even wears a prosthetic running blade, raising the profile of Para athletes and people with disabilities.
“Together, as well as embodying our Games, our mascots will carry them forward, showcasing the ambition of Games that are truly revolutionary.”
THE PHRYGIAN CAP The famous phrygian cap inspired the mascots of Paris 2024. It is a strong international symbol of liberty that was worn by freed slaves in ancient Rome, became a hugely recognised symbol of freedom during the American revolution and still appears in different emblems in the United States. But today it is mostly associated with France, following the French Revolution of 1830. The phrygian cap, also known as the liberty cap, represents a common reference for French people: in art (as a metaphor for freedom), within French institutions symbolic of the Republic, worn by Marianne in every town hall and it even features on everyday objects such as coins and stamps.
A REVOLUTION OF SPORT According to the Paris 2024 organisers, the Phryges are joining the people of France for a new revolution: a revolution of sport! Paris 2024 also aims to provide people with disabilities with as much visibility as possible, boldly promoting the Paralympic and sporting
values of inclusion, hence the choice of a mascot with a visible disability.
ONE BELIEF The Olympic and Paralympic Phryges might have different characters but they are driven by one belief: “sport has the power to change everything! Our lives, our health, our relationships with others and with nature… it’s time to bring sport into our everyday lives – all sports and every way of experiencing sport – through participation and encouragement…”
DIFFERENT CHARACTERS The Olympic Phryge is a fine tactician – the smart one of the bunch. A true mathematician, it never launches into anything without thinking it all through. With its methodical mind and alluring charm, it will no doubt inspire everybody to do more sport every day.
The Paralympic Phryge is a real party animal, spontaneous and a bit hotheaded. It’s not afraid of anything, it wants to have it all! Always up for new experiences, it will rally everyone 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 you to create a buzz and celebrate the athletes in all the stadiums and other venues.
MEETING THE PUBLIC The Olympic and Paralympic mascots will be meeting the public throughout France in the run up to 2024. They will attend all the major events of Paris 2024 throughout the country and all the biggest sporting and cultural events taking place in France.
Credit: AIPS Media