US Paralympians, Olympians to be paid same prize money per medal

In a statement on their website, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) stated that ‘Operation Gold Awards’, a program that provides monetary rewards to athletes who earn medals, for Paralympic athletes would be increased by as much as 400%.

 US Paralympic Track and Field athlete, Chelsea McClammer. Picture: @USParaTF/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - For the first time in history, US Paralympians will receive the same prize money per medal as Olympians.

At the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, the US Paralympic Team won 36 medals and the US Paralympic paid the 2018 Paralympians the new higher amounts, but the 2021 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo mark the first time they will be paid equally from the start.

“Paralympians are an integral part of our athlete community and we need to ensure we’re appropriately rewarding their accomplishments,” USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said.

“Our financial investment in US Paralympics and the athletes we serve is at an all-time high, but this was one area where a discrepancy existed in our funding model that we felt needed to change.

“I’m thrilled that we’ve brought parity and equality to our Operation Gold programme and we're eager to continue to build on Team USA’s success in PyeongChang.”

Operation Gold provides monetary rewards to athletes who earn medals at the Paralympic and Olympic Games.

According to the New York Times, previously US Paralympic athletes won $7,500 for every gold medal, $5,250 for silver, and $3,750 for bronze, while, Olympians won $37,500 for gold medals, $22,500 for silver, and $15,000 for bronze.

In a statement on their website, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) stated that ‘Operation Gold Awards’, a programme that provides monetary rewards to athletes who earn medals, for Paralympic athletes would be increased by as much as 400%.

Paralympic athletes will now receive $37,500 for each gold medal earned at the Paralympic Games, $22,500 for silver and $15,000 for bronze.

The Paralympics in Tokyo are scheduled from 24 August to 5 September.

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