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World Athletics Introduces Prize Money for Olympic Gold Medallists

Olympian MONDO DUPLANTIS biting golf medal

In a groundbreaking move, World Athletics has declared its pioneering stance as the first international federation to institute prize money at an Olympic Games, marking a significant shift in acknowledging athletes’ achievements on the grandest sporting stage.

Commencing with this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris, athletes who ascend to the pinnacle of sporting success by clinching a gold medal will be financially rewarded.

With a dedicated prize pool of US$2.4 million sourced from the International Olympic Committee’s revenue share allocation, World Athletics aims to distribute US$50,000 to the victor of each of the 48 athletics events in Paris.

This momentous initiative not only celebrates gold medalists but also underscores a firm commitment to extending prize money to Olympic silver and bronze medalists at the LA 2028 Olympic Games.

World Athletics President, Sebastian Coe, expressed his thoughts on this historic decision, stating, “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 recognizing the critical role they play in the success of any Olympic Games.”

Coe further elaborated on the trajectory initiated in 2015, wherein all revenue received by World Athletics from the International Olympic Committee for the Olympic Games is reinvested directly into the sport.

“We 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,” Coe explained.

Acknowledging the inherent value of Olympic achievements, Coe emphasized the importance of commencing the initiative, stating, “While 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.”

The disbursement of prize money will be contingent upon the World Athletics ratification process, including athletes undergoing and clearing the usual anti-doping procedures.

Each individual Olympic champion will receive US$50,000, with relay teams sharing the same amount.

Details regarding the format and structure of the LA28 Olympic bonuses will be unveiled closer to the event.

This move by World Athletics signifies a significant step forward in recognizing and rewarding the extraordinary feats of Olympic athletes, setting a precedent for other sporting federations to follow suit in honouring sporting excellence on the world stage.