Paralympians Are Now Paid The Same As Olympians For Winning Medals
US Paralympians will receive the same prize money as their Olympic counterparts for the first time at Tokyo 2020.
Despite the Paralympics becoming a prominent part of the Games, Paralympians have traditionally been paid much less for winning a medal.
Measures were put in place to change this in September 2018, and it was agreed that all athletes would be paid the same. This new rule was also retroactively applied to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
In a press statement, United States Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland spoke about the decision, stating ‘Paralympians are an integral part of our athlete community and we need to ensure we’re appropriately rewarding their accomplishments.’
Our financial investment in U.S. Paralympics and the athletes we serve is at an all-time high, but this was one area where a discrepancy existed in our funding model that we felt needed to change.
The change will see all athletes paid $37,500 (USD) for a gold medal, $22,500 for silver and $15,000 for bronze. This is a significant increase from the $7,500 for gold, $5,250 for silver and $3,750 for bronze Paralympians used to receive.
Despite this positive step, the Paralympics has seen controversy this year.
Six-time Paralympic medalist Becca Meyers, who is deaf and blind, recently left the Paralympic Games. The swimmer noted this was because the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee would not allow her to bring her mother to the Games as her Personal Care Assistant (PCA).
The committee noted COVID-19 concerns, but many are angry that the athlete cannot be assisted by her mother as she had been previously.
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CreditsInternational Paralympic Committee
International Paralympic Committee