Thursday, May 23, 2024

Olympics News: Bangladesh, Kazakhstan Ahead of USA In Paying Their Best Athletes; Here’s Full List Of Prize Money By Countries

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The World Athletics made an unprecedented move. The track and field governing body surprised all when it announced its decision to pay gold medallists. Keeping A sum of $50K for each gold medallist at bay,  track and field athletes will be paid for their exemplary performance. This as per its supporters will open up a new revenue stream. Since athletes were traditionally paid from their respective countries but had no monetary acknowledgment from the biggest body of the sport. However, the decision has people divided over its ethics.

While the news was met with joy from some athletes, the Olympic sports body as per CBS News stated that it “undermines the values of Olympism and the uniqueness of the games.” Another point that came forward was that athletes pay a hefty price for their win. Apart from sacrificing a major part of their regular lives, they also spend a great amount of monetary resources. Therefore, a sum of $50K looks like a kind of undercompensation.

USA’s and World Athletics’ prize money outnumbered by a huge margin


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In fact USA too pays its athletes $37.5K for gold medals, $22.5K for silver, and $15K for bronze as per WUSA9. Critics again resurface since the USA has a GDP of 27.97K billion as of 2024 as per Forbes. The next country in the list is China which has a GDP of 18.56K billion. This marked difference has raised questions over World Athletics and USA since the Asian Giant offers $720,000 to its athletes.


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Similarly, countries with much smaller GDP than the USA have seemingly encouraged sports. They are granting a higher prize money to the winners. While Singapore pays $738,000 for the gold medal, Taiwan pays $716,000. The interesting part to know is that both Singapore and Taiwan have failed to make it to Forbes’s list of top 20 countries in GDP. Such stats only undermine the spirit of athleticism.

Other countries to offer significantly more money than World Athletics and the USA are Indonesia, Bangladesh, Italy, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Philippines, Hungary, and Kosovo. Bangladesh and Kazakhstan pay $300,000 and $250,000 to their athletes, respectively. It is worth noting here that except Italy all of these countries have a lesser purchasing power than the USA. Therefore, the reward offered by the USA and World Athletics might not be sufficient to sustain the winning spirit of athletes.


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Another important point to note is that, apart from overt monetary benefits, countries also offer other incentives to their athletes. For example, Hidilyn Diaz, a Philippines’ weightlifter who brought home the country’s first gold medal in Tokyo. Hence, she was showered with appreciation in the form of a house, a condo, a van, and unlimited flight tickets on two airlines. The lucrative list of prizes didn’t end there. Other individuals and companies amassed her earnings of around $970,000.

Therefore, there is no denying that the US and World Athletics are underpaying their gold-winning athletes. But hopefully, the governing bodies responsible for deciding the benefits will acknowledge the athletes in proportion to the efforts put in by them in training.

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