SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Cash Incentives for Olympic Team

South Africa's Olympic and Paralympic stars stand to earn significant money if they finish on the podium at the London Games. For the first time, too, their coaches will be rewarded.

The medal incentive scheme was announced at a press conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (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.

Sacrifices

"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."

There is quite a difference between the money on offer to Olympics medal winners when compared to their Paralympic counterparts. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee explained why this is so.

To begin with, about 4000 athletes will take part in the Paralympics, with approxmately 500 medals up for grabs. The Olympics feature about 10500 athletes, competing for about 300 medals.

100 metres

The reason for this is that the Paralympics offer medals in different categories for the same event. For example, there is a single 100 metres men's champion in the Olympics, while in the Paralympics there are 13 gold medals to be won in the 100 metres.

Sascoc has settled on an amount of R400000 for an athlete that wins a gold medal at the Olympics. A silver medal will be worth R200000, and a bronze medal worth R80000.

The coach of a gold medal winning athlete will receive R100000, while a silver medal winning coach will be rewarded with R50000, and a bronze medal winner with R20000.

Beijing 2008

Previously, at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, there was a pot of R500000 to be shared between athletes that won medals. Khotso Mokoena, who finished second in the long jump, was South Africa's only medallist and as a result walked away with the entire amount.

A Paralympic gold medallist will receive R100000, silver will be worth R75000, and bronze R40000. Their coaches will receive R20000, R15000 and R10000 respectively.

South African Paralympians won 30 medals in Beijing, including 21 golds.

The Olympic Games begin on on 27 July and finish on 12 August. The Paralympics start on on 29 August and end on 9 September.

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