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Olympic Games just changed forever

April 11, 2024 RawAmericanTruth Politics 0
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In a historic shift from the Olympic tradition of amateurism, World Athletics announced on Wednesday that it will award $50,000 in prize money to all gold medalists across the 48 track and field events at the upcoming Paris Games.

The move marks the first time any Olympic sport has attached cash prizes to medals, with World Athletics President Sebastian Coe framing it as a way “to recognize that the revenue share that we receive is in large part because our athletes are the stars of the show.”

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Under the plan, individual gold medalists as well as members of victorious relay teams in Paris will each receive $50,000 payouts from the Olympic revenue share allocated to the governing body. World Athletics has set aside $2.4 million for this inaugural Olympic prize money fund.

While payments to silver and bronze medalists are not included for 2024, Coe indicated such expansions could follow starting with the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics as track and field continues evolving its professional model.

“It’s very important that this sport recognizes the change in that landscape and the added pressures on many competitors,” Coe stated, reflecting on his amateur experiences as an Olympic champion in the 1980s.


The decision to compensate Olympic athletics stars financially represents a symbolic departure from the Games’ historically strict delineation between professional and amateur competitors. However, many Olympic medalists already receive payments from national governing bodies, private sponsors or government incentive programs.

Coe admitted the move came together rapidly, with World Athletics only giving the International Olympic Committee a “heads-up” Wednesday morning about its approved prize money plan that could upset the traditional power balance between individual sports federations and the IOC’s revenue distribution model.

In a lukewarm response, the IOC reiterated that World Athletics and other governing bodies have autonomy in determining “how to best serve their athletes and the global development of their sport” using Olympic funding distributions.

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While World Athletics wields significant financial independence, the precedent of paying Olympic medalists raises questions around whether smaller sports may eventually follow suit despite current funding constraints.

For now, that makes track and field a trailblazer in acknowledging the commercial realities of today’s elite Olympic athletes and their multi-million dollar earning potential through endorsements and professional competitions like World Athletics’ own lucrative world championship events.

As Coe embarks on professionalizing one of the Olympics’ marquee attractions, the prize money introduction injects new momentum into redefining amateurism’s institutional vestiges and their place at the billion-dollar spectacle of the modern Games.

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