Gold worth R400k to Team SA
London Olympic Games gold medal (File)
Cape Town - South Africa's leading Olympic and Paralympic sportsmen and women have been given a lucrative financial incentive 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.
SASCOC were quick to point out the 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 4 000 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 100m 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 woman 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.
Should a South African Olympic athlete win a 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.
Paralympic athletes will also be in the money, with a gold at the Paralympics worth R100 000, silver R75 000 and bronze R40 000. The medal-winning athletes' coaches will be rewarded to the tune of R20 000, R15 000 and R10 000 respectively.
Announcing the incentive a proud SASCOC CEO 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, the team returned with 30 medals.
The Olympics start on July 27 and end on August 12, while the Paralympics get underway on August 29 and end on September 9.