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Big financial incentives for 2012 Games medallists

South Africa’s leading Olympic and Paralympic sportsmen and women have had a hugely lucrative financial incentive in front of them to make the podium at the London Games later this year.

The country’s Olympic governing body SASCOC announced the medal incentive scheme at a press conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

What must be understood is the fact that there are differences between the events themselves in terms of the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games.

A very distinct difference is the fact that there are in the Paralympic games approximately 4000 athletes who are competing for approximately 500 medals, while in the Olympic games there are approximately 10 500 athletes competing for approximately 300 medals. If one looks at an event like the 100-metres then one will note that in the Olympic Games there is one medal on offer for the men and one medal on offer for the women in the 100m race whereas in the Paralympic race there are 13 medals on offer for the men and 12 on offer for the women simply because of the different classification system applicable to the athletes who have to compete against athletes of the same classification.

This is similar in swimming and many other sports as well.

Some examples of the medals on offer in the Olympic and Paralympic Games respectively:

Sport and Discipline

Olympic Medals (10500 athletes) Paralympic Medals (4000 athletes)

Athletics 100m (men and women)  25
Athletics 200m (men and women)  20
Athletics 400m (men and women)  12
Athletics 800m (men and women)  10
Athletics 1500m (men and women)  8

Swimming 50m free (men and women) 221
Swimming 100m free (men and women) 221
Swimming 200m free (men and women) 26
Swimming 400m free (men and women) 215

Cycling road and time trial (men and women) 432

Table Tennis (men and women) 422

Should a South African Olympic athlete win a coveted gold medal, he or she will take home an impressive R400,000. Silver and bronze medals will be worth R200,000 and R80,000 respectively.

The coaches behind the athletes have also not been overlooked, with the respective coaches taking home R100,000, R50,000 and R20,000 respectively.

And our Paralympic athletes also get into the money game with a gold at the Paralympics worth R100 000-00, silver R75 000-00 and bronze R40 000-00. The medal-winning athletes’ coaches will be rewarded to the tune of R20 000-00, R15 000-00 and R10 000-00 respectively.

Announcing the incentive a proud SASCOC CEO Mr Tubby Reddy said: “Obviously winning an Olympic or Paralympic medal is in itself a huge achievement and something to be cherished for life.

“But we felt that it was only fitting that there also be some sort of financial incentive as well. We are all too aware of the sacrifices made by our leading sportsmen and women (and their coaches) and this should go some way to rewarding them.”

At the Beijing Olympics Team South Africa won just one silver medal and at the Paralympics, our team had a return of 30 medals.

The Olympics start on 27 July and end on 12 August while the Paralympics get underway on 29 August and end on 9 September.


1 comments
Rainer Moloi
Rainer Moloi

i think the decision ws taken without correct understanding. With paralympics there are more classes bt it does not mean tht 1 athlete has more than 1 chance to go for gold. With the difference n severity of disabilities combined events r used.in most of da combined events point system is used. This is 1 of the things that take away the 12,3% that SASCOC is tallkin about. The conditions of such a point system are too high and difficult to archieve. For 1 to win against stronger classes is another difficulty that was overlooked. So if you look at it ths manner the numbers and facts used to determine the incentives are completely incorrect. It now appears that there is less chances for a paralympian to win a medal than an olympian because even though olympic even has 1 medal,the athletes are all on equal level physically. So chances of winning are more when people are equally capable. However you cannot say that for paralympics severity of disabilities is never the same but similar, and similar does not mean the same or equal. The margin between the incentives is etreme. What is the reason for such extreme difference. As South Africans we need to accept that most of our able bodied athletes have not reached the level of international domination. We only have a few exceptional athletes. Even if the odds were the same to those of approximately 4000 for 500 medals we would still fall short to the paralympic team. This is the reality...please lets not perceive reality. We are playing catch up to the world. Where as with disable athletes we have a large number of exceptional athletes that make it look easy. In this regard we the team to beat. It is best we accept the level of our sports development than to use shallow criterias to run from honourin our athletes under the values that are intrenched in our Constitution. So the question is 'what is the real reason behind such a determination'.