Paris Olympics To Reward Gold Medalists with Cash Prizes, NOC-K Secretary General Welcomes The Move

In a groundbreaking move set to redefine the landscape of Olympic glory, the 2024 Paris Summer Games will witness a historic shift as gold medalists in all 48 athletics events will be bestowed with monetary rewards. This revolutionary initiative, spearheaded by World Athletics, marks the dawn of a new era where athletes’ relentless dedication and unparalleled achievements receive tangible recognition.

For the first time in Olympic history, the pinnacle of sporting success will be accompanied by substantial financial incentives, with a total prize pool of US$2.4 million (KES 312m) allocated exclusively for the victors. Each gold medalist will be honored with an amount  of US$50,000 (KES 6.5m).

Sebastian Coe, the esteemed President of World Athletics, hailed this momentous decision as a pivotal milestone in the annals of athletics: “The introduction of prize money for Olympic gold medallists is a pivotal moment for World Athletics and the sport of athletics as a whole, underscoring our commitment to empowering the athletes and recognising the critical role they play in the success of any Olympic Games.”

This  desicion stems from a visionary journey embarked upon by World Athletics in 2015, aiming to reinvest all proceeds received from the International Olympic Committee back into the sport.

On top of the existing grants aimed at growing athletics in member federations, World Athletics started distributing an extra US$5m (Sh650m) per annum to them. Coe explained the desicion,“We want to make sure some of the revenues generated by our athletes at the Olympic Games are directly returned to those who make the Games the global spectacle that it is.” 
While it is impossible to put a value on winning an Olympic medal or on the commitment and the focus it takes to even represent your country at the Olympics, Coe  rationalized the need for a starting point: “We are now in a position to also fund gold medal performances for athletes in Paris, with a commitment to reward all three medalists at the LA28 Olympic Games,” said Coe proudly in his April 10 address.

NOC-K Secretary General Welcomes The Development

Francis Mutuku, the Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K), lauded this progressive initiative, emphasizing its potential to elevate competition to unprecedented heights.“This is good motivation while the IOC continues with their vision of universality where everyone participating at the Olympics is a winner,” said Mutuku. He has been in this role since his election on January 11, 2018, and was re-elected on December 9, 2021. He also holds various positions in national and international sports organizations, a  demonstration of  his commitment to the development of sports in Kenya and beyond.

With Kenya’s rich legacy in athletics and a resolute ambition to excel across diverse sporting domains, the nation has set its sights on a minimum of six gold medals at the Paris 2024 Olympics. Kenya first participated in the Olympics in 1956, and since then, it has won a total of 105 medals, including 34 gold, 41 silver, and 30 bronze medals. The country’s first gold medalist was marathoner Kip Keino who was active between 1964 and 1972. Other great legends have followed in his footsteps including innhis footsteps. These include :Eliud Kipchoge:( Marathon in 2020 and 2016),Ezekiel Kemboi(Men’s 3000m steeplechase in 2004 and 2012), David Rudisha (Men’s 800m in 2012 and 2016) and Faith Kipyegon (Women’s 1500m in 2016 and 2020)

The payment of the  prize money will depend upon the World Athletics ratification process, which  includes athletes undergoing and clearing the usual anti-doping procedures. Each Olympic champion will receive US$50,000 (KES 6.5m). While Kenya’s pursuit of Olympic glory has historically transcended monetary considerations, the introduction of cash prizes heralds a new era of recognition for athletes’ relentless dedication and unparalleled achievements.