US Paralympians will now get paid as much as Olympians for medal wins

27 July 2021, 10:26 | Updated: 27 July 2021, 10:38

Paralympians will now get paid as much as Olympians for medal wins
Paralympians will now get paid as much as Olympians for medal wins. Picture: Getty

By Emma Clarke

For the first time ever, US Paralympians will receive the same prize money as their Olympic counterparts.

Tokyo 2020 marks the first Olympic Games in which the new pay parity update will be rolled out.

Previously, according to the New York Times, Paralympians were awarded $7,500 (£5,441) for every gold medal, $5,250 (£3,808) for silver medals and $3,750 (£2,720) for bronze.

Meanwhile, Olympians won $37,500 (£27,205), $22,500 (£16,323), and $15,000 (£10,882), respectively.

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Although the prize money for Paralympians was updated shortly after the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) retroactively paid the athletes the higher amounts, the 2020 Games in Tokyo mark the first time the update has been implemented from the get-go.

Speaking of the pay parity in 2018, USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland commented: "Paralympians are an integral part of our athlete community and we need to ensure we're appropriately rewarding their accomplishments.

"Our financial investment in US 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."

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As many big sporting events were, the 2020 Olympics were delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, the Games commenced on Friday, July 23 and will conclude on Sunday, August 8.

The Paralympic Games will take place on Wednesday, August 25 and will end on Sunday, September 5.

Currently (at the time of writing this article), the US are in top position on the Tokyo 2020 medal table, with nine gold, five silver and eight bronze medals.

Team GB, meanwhile, ranks fifth, after ROC, Japan and China.