Athletics-Reaction to Olympic champions receiving prize money


FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games is seen on an official Paris 2024 store in Paris, France, February 8, 2024. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

(Reuters) - World Athletics became the first sport to offer prize money to Olympic champions on Wednesday, with the governing body announcing that gold medallists at this year's Paris Games will receive $50,000.

Following are quotes and reaction.

INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC) STATEMENT

"The IOC redistributes 90% of all its income, in particular to the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Federations (IFs).

"This means that, every day, the equivalent of $4.2 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.

"It is up to each IF and NOC to determine how to best serve their athletes and the global development of their sport."

KARSTEN WARHOLM, NORWEGIAN OLYMPIC 400 METRE HURDLES CHAMPION

"I think it's good, as a professional sport that athletics is growing more and more into, that is very good so I want to salute them for it," Warholm told Reuters.

"To me it doesn't change my motivation to win because, for the Olympics I'm not in it for the money. But when it comes to building a professional sport, I think it's going in the right direction."

ARMAND DUPLANTIS, SWEDISH OLYMPIC POLE VAULT CHAMPION AND WORLD RECORD HOLDER

"It's better than nothing. It's a step in the right direction, considering at the last Olympics there was no prize money at all," Duplantis told Reuters.

"Of course, there's always so many ways to look at everything, but if you look at it positively, there was nothing and now there is something, so as long as it keeps going in that direction then I think that's a good thing."

EVAN DUNFEE, CANADIAN OLYMPIC 50KM WALK BRONZE MEDALLIST

"Overall, I think it is great and sets a fantastic tone for other federations and shows that the sport is in a healthier place than it was several years ago," Dunfee told Reuters.

"Really glad to see this from WA and it's sad that this isn't coming from the IOC."

YAROSLAVA MAHUCHIKH, UKRAINIAN OLYMPIC HIGH JUMP BRONZE MEDALLIST AND WORLD CHAMPION

"Of course, it's nice because every year you work hard, and if you look at the prize money for football players and for track and field, you think 'oh my God maybe I should change my game'," Mahuchikh told Reuters.

"But of course it is nice news for athletes and it gives you more opportunity to continue training and to find a place where you can train, so it's really nice."

ANDRE DE GRASSE, CANADIAN OLYMPIC 200 METRE GOLD MEDALLIST AND WORLD CHAMPION

"Prize money on the pro circuit has gone down since I got in the sport. So it's a step in the right direction for World Athletics to be stepping up at the Olympics," De Grasse told Reuters.

(Reporting by Lori Ewing, Helen Reid, Mitch Phillips; Compiled by Trevor Stynes; editing by Ed Osmond and Christian Radnedge)

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