Paris Olympics 2024: World Athletics announces cash prizes for gold medalists

World Athletics, the apex body of athletics has announced a $ 2.4 million prize money for the 48 gold medalists of the Paris Olympics 2024.

Paris Olympics 2024 (image credits- twitter@faelpontopt)
By Soumya | Apr 17, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

In a recent controversial development in the world of athletics, the sport’s apex body, World Athletics, has announced cash prizes for the gold medalists. Criticism has followed World Athletics President Sebastian Coe’s pledge to pay gold medal winners in Paris $50,000 with Anson the latest to question the end of a 128-year tradition.

Criticising the decision, the British Olympic Association’s (BOA) chief Andy Anson remarked, “I think what wasn’t great about the announcement last week is when one sport goes off and does something on their own, doesn’t include the other sports, the IOC or the National Olympic Committees.”

“They create a problem because now other sports are going to get some scrutiny or even pressure from athletes saying ‘Well what about our sport, how can this sport do it and not us?’ “It’s a debate we can have but we need to have it at the right time, and the right place, and together.”

Read more: Indian Men’s Hockey team see a dip in ranking ahead of Paris Olympics 2024

What is the audacious plan of the World Athletics?

Other sports federations appear to have been taken by surprise by the World Athletics move. But the main question is why is the entire world against the World Athletics? Well, the apex body has decided to split a cumulative sum of $ 2.4 million prize money amongst 48 gold medalists of Paris.

Currently, only the gold medalists have been drafted into the grand schemes of the World Athletics. However, there is a plan for expansion to include the silver and bronze medalists in the next Olympics, i.e. the Los Angeles Olympic Games 2028.

David Lappartient, president of the cycling governing body (UCI) said World Athletics had not discussed it with other federations. Lappartient also went on to add that it went against the Olympic spirit. “The Olympic spirit is to share revenues and have more athletes compete worldwide,” he said. “Not only put all the money on the top athletes but spread the money.”

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Will winning a medal become more important than Olympic participation?

The greatest question that will linger on in the minds of the fans and athletes all around is whether winning medals becomes more pertinent now more than ever. This tough dilemma arises after the lucrative cash offers that come with the medals. In such a clouded and controversial environment the effort to earn Olympic quotas somewhat takes a back seat.

Anson also added it created a danger of a two-tier Olympics. Anson said the strength of the Olympic family was that all sports worked together. “That’s how you need to navigate these issues and I don’t think it’s particularly appropriate or helpful for one sport to announce that,” he said.

“It’s such a small number and it’s only gold medals so I don’t think it does that yet,” he said. “But there is clearly a risk of that and we don’t want that to happen.”

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