Melbourne, Sep 2 | The Australian government announced on Thursday that Paralympics medallists are set to be given bonuses equivalent to their Olympics counterparts.
Olympics gold medal winners in Tokyo received a $20,000 bonus from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC). The silver and bronze medallists from the Olympics are also rewarded with $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.
But there was no similar bonus for Paralympics medal winners owing to Paralympics Australia not having the funds to give out bonuses to its medal winners.
“I’m very pleased to announce that the government will provide additional support to Paralympics Australia to ensure our Paralympic medallists will receive equivalent payments to our Olympic medallists,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the Parliament.
“The Minister for Sport, at my request, spoke to Paralympics Australia CEO Lyn Anderson earlier today, and I’m delighted we had been able to support our fantastic Paralympians in this way. We have witnessed the essence of what sport is all about being the best you possibly can be. You have inspired us and we are grateful that you’re one of us as Australians,” added Morrison.
The discrepancy came into light when rugby sevens player Chloe Dalton launched a fundraiser to raise money for medal winners from the Paralympics in Tokyo. The funding page set three days ago by the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medallist has been $76,225 raised with the goal set at $100,000.
“100% of funds from this campaign will still be distributed evenly amongst all Australian Paralympic medallists at the Tokyo 2020 games. We will contact each medallist individually and distribute the funds directly to the athletes,” read the fundraising page hosted on GoFundMe.
In the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics, Australia is ranked at eighth place in the medal tally with 13 gold, 23 silver and 24 bronze medals.