Prize money from World Athletics for Olympic gold medalists


At this year’s Olympic Games in Paris, World Athletics will become the very first international federation to award prize money to gold medal winners.

The gold medal winners in each of the 48 athletic events at this year’s Games will receive $50 000 (about R935 000).

Each individual Olympic champion will receive $50,000. Relay teams will receive the same amount. However, the amount will be divided among team members.

Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics, said on Wednesday that Olympic winners of silver and bronze medals will only be able to receive prize money at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

“We are now in a position to fund gold medal performances for athletes in Paris, with a commitment to reward all three categories of medal winners at the 2028‑ Olympics,” Coe told reporters.

Coe says the introduction of prize money for Olympic gold medalists is a defining moment for World Athletics and athletics as a whole. Coe believes this underlines the federation’s commitment to empowering athletes and recognizes the important role they play in the success of any Olympic Games.

World Athletics only informed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of its decision today, shortly before the announcement, despite the fact that the total prize money of $2.4 million will come from the committee’s revenue share allocation that World Athletics receives every four years.

According to Coe, there was no prior discussion.

“It is a matter for the sport. The one view that the IOC consistently holds is the primacy that international federations enjoy in creating their own future.”

Coe further said the shift to financially rewarding athletes for Olympic titles is a reflection of “a changing world”.

“We find ourselves on a completely different planet than when I competed, so it is extremely important that the sport acknowledges that landscape change.”

The Olympic Games in Paris take place from 26 July to 11 August.