Golden Rewards: Paris 2024 Olympic Medalists to Earn Cash Prizes in Historic Move
Golden Rewards: Paris 2024 Olympic Medalists to Earn Cash Prizes in Historic Move

In a historic decision that is set to reshape the landscape of track and field, World Athletics has announced that Olympic gold medalists will receive prize money starting at the Paris 2024 Games, with the initiative expanding to include all medalists by the Los Angeles 2028 Games.

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Garth Gayle, the President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), has lauded the move, stating, “The JAAA supports the move by World Athletics to incentivise track and field athletes. We believe it is a positive step towards the sport on and off the field. We know the athletes will continue to perform at their best. This is timely and we look forward to the continued growth and success of the sport.”

Under the new scheme, Olympic champions will be awarded US$50,000 in recognition of their achievements on the world’s biggest sporting stage. This forms part of a wider initiative by World Athletics that sees a total prize pool of US$2.4 million earmarked for distribution across 48 athletic events.

Paris 2024 Relay teams will not be left out of this windfall, with each team set to receive the same amount, which will be distributed among the team members. Looking ahead to the LA28 Olympics, World Athletics has committed to extending prize money to silver and bronze medalists as well, ensuring a broader recognition of the achievements of world-class athletes.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe commented on Paris 2024 prize money:

“The introduction of prize money for Olympic gold medallists is a pivotal moment for World Athletics and the sport of athletics as a whole, underscoring our commitment to empowering the athletes and recognising the critical role they play in the success of any Olympic Games.

β€œThis is the continuation of a journey we started back in 2015, which sees all the money World Athletics receives from the International Olympic Committee for the Olympic Games go directly back into our sport.

β€œWe started with the Olympic dividend payments to our Member Federations, which saw us distribute an extra US$5m a year on top of existing grants aimed at athletics growth projects, and we are now in a position to also fund gold medal performances for athletes in Paris, with a commitment to reward all three medallists at the LA28 Olympic Games.

β€œWhile it is impossible to put a marketable value on winning an Olympic medal, or on the commitment and focus it takes to even represent your country at an Olympic Games, I think it is important we start somewhere and make sure some of the revenues generated by our athletes at the Olympic Games are directly returned to those who make the Games the global spectacle that it is.”

This landmark decision highlights the changing dynamics in athletics remuneration and showcases a growing trend toward financially rewarding Olympic success. It also reflects the ongoing efforts by governing bodies to ensure that athletes are compensated for the dedication and excellence they display in their respective fields.

As athletes around the world set their sights on Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028, they now have an additional incentive to reach the pinnacle of their sport. The implementation of these financial rewards is a nod to the hard work and commitment of athletes and a testament to the evolving support from institutions governing the sporting world.

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