It's official: Paralympians will now get paid as much as Olympians for their medals.
The Tokyo Olympics marks the first time when both sets of athletes will be paid the same amount depending on what medals they earn. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) board of directors confirmed the change in 2018 just months after the Winter Olympics took place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Even though the Paralympians who won medals at the events received an increase in their payout, the Tokyo Games will be the first Olympics to implement the move from the beginning.
The Paralympic Games are set to begin on August 24th, 2021, and will conclude on September 5th, 2021. The dates were confirmed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) back in March and athletes are getting ready to compete in more than 500 events in twenty-two sports. This is also the second time that Japan will be hosting the Paralympic Games, with the last taking place in 1964... so it's going to be a big occasion.
In 2018, when the pay announcement was first made, USOPC Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland said this of the athletes: "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," she continued.
According to the International Paralympic Committee, Paralympians will now be paid $37,500 for each gold medal earned at the Paralympics, $22,500 for silver, and $15,000 for bronze. Previously, it was reported that they only received $7,500 for every gold medal, $5,250 for a silver, and $3,750 for a bronze.
After the decision was made, Oksana Masters, a Ukrainian-American Paralympic rower tweeted her excitement, stating: As I was reading this tears literally were streaming down my face not only bc of the equal pay for @Paralympics medals to @USParalympics athlete but the value and worth of Para athletes finally viewed equal to @Olympics. This is absolutely LIFE changing @TeamUSA thank you."
As I was reading this tears literally were streaming down my face not only bc of the equal pay for @Paralympics medals to @USParalympics athlete but the value and worth of Para athletes finally viewed equal to @Olympics. This is absolutely LIFE changing @TeamUSA thank you 🙏🏼 https://t.co/UIj17q1IuO
— Oksana Masters (@OksanaMasters) September 22, 2018
You really do love to see it.
Keep your eyes peeled for the Paralympic Games set to commence on August 24th.