Australian Paralympians to get same cash bonus as Olympians
Australia’s Paralympians will receive the same cash bonus as their able-bodied counterparts after the federal government committed to providing financial support to Paralympics Australia.
Olympics gold medal winners in Tokyo received a $20,000 reward from the Australian Olympic Committee but there was no similar bonus scheme for Paralympians owing to a disparity in funding for the peak sports bodies.
The discrepancy had been highlighted to a wider audience during these Games after Olympic rugby sevens champion and AFLW player Chloe Dalton launched a campaign to provide parity for Paralympians.
A Go Fund Me campaign set up by Dalton to raise money to reward Paralympic medallists had raised more than $50,000 in its first three days; the fund had reached nearly $75,000 of its $100,000 target by Thursday afternoon.
Prime minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday the achievements of Australia’s Paralympians – who have won 60 medals so far, including 13 gold – were of national significance and should be recognised in the same way as the Olympians.
Dalton said: “It’s so incredible to see that people coming together to highlight issues of inequality can create meaningful change. I’m quite emotional and so happy for these amazing athletes who will now be rewarded equally.”
The move brings Australia into line with other nations, such as the USA, which rewards its gold medallists of each team with the same $52,000 bonus. Games host country Japan offers gold-winning Olympians about $63,000 and Paralympians the significantly smaller sum of $38,000.