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“Olympic Track and Field: Paris Gold Medalists Set to Receive $50,000 Prize Money”

Track and field is poised to mark a historic milestone as the first sport to implement prize money at the Olympics, as announced by World Athletics on Wednesday. The organization stated that gold medalists at the Paris Olympics would receive a substantial sum of $50,000.

Under this initiative, World Athletics has allocated $2.4 million to reward the gold medalists across the 48 events comprising the track and field program for the upcoming Paris Olympics. In the case of relay teams, the $50,000 prize will be divided among team members. Plans are in place to extend payments to silver and bronze medalists starting from the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

In a statement, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe emphasized the significance of recognizing the achievements of Olympic athletes and ensuring that they receive a share of the revenues generated by the Games. Coe acknowledged the challenge of quantifying the value of an Olympic medal but stressed the importance of initiating a system to directly compensate athletes for their contributions to the global spectacle of the Olympics.

The prize money will be sourced from the portion of Olympic revenue allocated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to World Athletics and other governing bodies of individual sports. However, athletes must undergo the standard anti-doping procedures at the event before receiving the monetary reward, as outlined by World Athletics.

The concept of awarding prize money diverges from the traditional ethos of the Olympics, which originated as an amateur sports event. While the IOC does not offer prize money, many medalists receive financial rewards from their respective governments, national sports bodies, or sponsors. For instance, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee granted $37,500 to gold medalists at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, while Singapore’s National Olympic Council pledged $1 million for Olympic gold, a feat achieved only once by a Singaporean athlete thus far.

World Athletics’ decision to introduce prize money could signal broader changes within the Olympic movement, particularly in light of speculations about Sebastian Coe’s potential candidacy for the presidency of the IOC. Although Coe has neither confirmed nor denied his aspirations for the role, his actions, including the implementation of prize money in track and field, may offer insights into his future intentions regarding the Olympics.

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