World Athletics to now pay prize money for Olympic golds

Wednesday, April 10, 2024
 – The World Athletics has announced that it would become the first international federation to award prize money at an Olympics, beginning at this year’s Games in Paris.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe who made the announcement on Wednesday, April 10, said Gold medal winners in each of the 48 athletics events in Paris will receive $50,000 (46,000 euros). He further revealed that they've set aside $2.4m (£1.89m) to pay the gold medallists across 48 events at Paris' track and field programme.

Relay teams will split the $50,000 between their members. Payments for silver and bronze medallists are planned to begin at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Coe said;

"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.

"This 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.

“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.”

While athletes are often paid by sponsors and the Olympic tradition of amateur competition has long since been consigned to history, the decision by track and field’s international body to pay prize money represents a major shift for the Games.

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