World Athletics Introduces Prize Money for Olympic Gold Medalists

April 11, 2024
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold Medalists Eliud Kipchoge and Emmanuel Korir

In a groundbreaking move, World Athletics announced on Wednesday that it will award prize money at the Olympic Games for the first time during this year’s Paris Summer Games. This initiative positions World Athletics as the first international federation to award prize money at an Olympics.

World Athletics disclosed that it has earmarked a total prize pool of US$2.4 million (Kes.312m) from the International Olympic Committee’s revenue share allocation, received by World Athletics every four years.

Gold medalists in each of the 48 athletics events in Paris will be awarded $50,000 (Kes.6.5m) each. Furthermore, each relay team will receive $50,000, which will be distributed among the team members.

“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,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold Medalists Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon and Peres Jepchirchir
Silver and Bronze Medalists Prize Money

However, winners of silver and bronze Olympic medals will have to wait a while longer. World Athletics clarified that this initiative entails a firm commitment to extend the prize money, at a tiered level, to Olympic silver and bronze medal winners at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

Coe emphasized that the decision marks the continuation of a journey initiated in 2015. This journey aims to ensure that all the money World Athletics receives from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the Olympic Games is directed back into the sport.

“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.”

The format and structure of the LA28 Olympic bonuses will be announced later.

Welcoming the move by World Athletics, Francis Mutuku, Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K), expressed his approval, stating that it will elevate competition to the next level.

“This is good motivation while the IOC continues with their vision of universality where everyone participating at the Olympics is a winner,” said Mutuku.

Mutuku highlighted that although the International Olympic Committee does not provide prize money, funds generated from their activities are channeled into their solidarity programs, benefiting coaches, referees, and athletes.

The Paris Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11.

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