Home Australia Paris Olympic track and field winners will share $3.6 million in World Athletics prize money

Paris Olympic track and field winners will share $3.6 million in World Athletics prize money

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An Australian athlete holds the javelin next to her head as she prepares to throw it.

Athletics will be the first sport to introduce prize money at the Olympics, and World Athletics said it will pay $50,000 to gold medalists in Paris.

Athletics’ governing body said it was setting aside $2.4 million ($3.6 million) to pay gold medalists in the 48 events of the athletics program at this year’s Paris Olympics. The relay teams will divide the $50,000 among their members.

Payments to silver and bronze medalists are scheduled to begin after the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said it was impossible to put a commercial value on winning an Olympic medal, but this was a first step.

“I think it is important that we start somewhere and ensure that some of the revenue generated by our athletes at the Olympic Games goes directly back to those who make the Games the global spectacle that they are,” Mr Coe said.

The prize money will come from the portion of Olympic revenue that the IOC distributes to World Athletics and other governing bodies of individual sports.

Athletes will have to pass “the usual anti-doping procedures” at the event before receiving the money, World Athletics added.

The modern Olympic Games originated as an amateur sporting event and the International Olympic Committee does not award prize money. However, many medalists receive payments from their country’s governments, national sports bodies or sponsors.

The Australian Olympic Committee has a medal incentive scheme, under which athletes pay $20,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for a bronze medal.

However, Australian athletes only receive a payment for their best result, and it is conditional on them continuing to train for the next Olympic Games.

Australia’s Kelsey-Lee Barber won a bronze medal at the 2020 Olympics.(Reuters: Dylan Martínez)

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee awarded $37,500 to gold medalists at the last Summer Games in Tokyo in 2021. Singapore’s National Olympic Council pledges $1 million ($1.1 million) for Olympic gold , a feat that has so far only been achieved once by a Singaporean Competitor.

World Athletics’ move could be seen as an indicator of Coe’s intentions for the Olympics as a whole if he runs for the IOC presidency.

Last year, he said he “hadn’t ruled it out and certainly hadn’t ruled it out” when asked if he would consider running for the IOC’s top job when Thomas Bach’s term ends in 2025.

The IOC normally disapproves of any public campaign for the presidency.


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