I really feel strongly that there should be a category for Downs Syndrome athletes to compete at the Paralympic games.
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Big cash incentives on offer for Games athletes
- Updated: July 19, 2012
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)┬á 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.