• Loading stock data...
Monday, May 27, 2024

In Olympic First, Track Gold Medalists to Get $50K in Paris

  • The Olympics have historically been an amateur event. 
  • Silver and gold payouts reportedly are coming in the 2028 Summer Games.
James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Track and field—one of the many Olympic sports where even champions can live a grinding existence financially—will directly pay its gold medalists tens of thousands of dollars for the first time.

Gold medalists will net $50,000 in Paris, World Athletics said Wednesday, making it the first sport to pay out prize money at the Olympics.

The move symbolizes a break with the Olympics’ amateur-filled past. Track and field is one of the most-watched events in the Games, with the men’s 100-meter dash winner crowned the “World’s Fastest Man.”

World Athletics said it would reserve $2.4 million to pay the gold medalists $50,000 across 48 events for this summer’s Paris Olympics. Relay teams will split the money with their teammates. Silver and bronze medalists are slated to start getting prize money at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. The prize money will come out of the revenue share World Athletics, the governing body of athletics, gets from the International Olympic Committee. The IOC rakes in billions every Olympic cycle.

Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, said the decision is “to recognize that the revenue share that we receive is in large part because our athletes are the stars of the show.”

The move is a fundamental shift from the Olympics’ long history of the IOC and other governing bodies pocketing the lucrative revenue the Games produce. The IOC doesn’t distribute prize money, though many medalists receive payments from their sponsors or national federations.

Coe said he gave the IOC “a heads-up” before announcing World Athletics’ intentions Wednesday. The decision could be perceived as a power play by Coe, a former British politician who has long been rumored to be interested in running the IOC. It’s unknown whether other sports will start paying their own gold medalists in light of Wednesday’s announcement. 

Coe, a former British runner who won gold at the 1980 and ’84 Games in the 1,500-meter run, said he’s aware of the changes that have come since his own career ended, which is why he understands the implications of what he’s doing. 

“It’s a completely different planet from when I was competing,” Coe said. “So it’s very important that this sport recognizes the change in that landscape and the added pressures on many competitors.”

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Jan 11, 2024; Paris, FRANCE; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks before a NBA Game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers at AccorHotels Arena.

Adam Silver Is the Real Winner in the Battle for the NBA’s Rights Future

For the past decade, the commissioner has been playing chess, not checkers.
NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. Ncaahall 311477 Jpg

From Revenue-Sharing to Private Equity: Breaking Down the NCAA’s Historic Week

Commercialization of college sports has never been more evident than this week.

Not Every MLS Team Gets to Strike Gold With a Messi Visit

Lionel Messi won’t play in Saturday’s match against the Whitecaps.

Rare Indy 500 Rain Could Keep Odd Blackout Tradition Going

The local Indy 500 TV blackout has endured despite the NFL ending its blackout policy nearly a decade ago. 
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

French Open Marks Transition in Tennis

0:00

Featured Today

exclusive

‘This Is Semi-Pro’: Inside One Arena Football League Team’s Collapse

The collapse of the Georgia Force, as told by the players who lived it.
Michael Block signs autographs on the 18th hole during day three of practice for the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.
May 19, 2024

‘I Prefer It This Way’: How Life Works for PGA Club Pros

Here’s how life works for the qualifiers at golf’s second major.
February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.
May 18, 2024

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.
May 14, 2024

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
EA Sports
Multiple - USA Careers
Nike
Multiple - USA Careers
CAA
Multiple - USA Careers

All-NBA Voting Brings and Costs Young Stars $40 Million Raises

Two stars of the playoffs are now eligible for much larger extensions. 
May 21, 2024

Jalen Brunson Reportedly Considering Giving Knicks $100 Million Discount

He would sacrifice a huge amount of money by signing a deal this summer instead of next.
May 22, 2024

Lawsuit Claims LaMelo Ball Ran Over Young Fan With His Car

A mother and son are suing Ball and the Hornets over an October incident.
Sponsored

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
May 21, 2024

Josh Hader Was the Rare MLB Player Who Could Fight Back

The Astros reliever privately held teams to certain rules when using him the past four seasons.
May 21, 2024

Nika Mühl Finally Set to Play in WNBA After Immigration Red Tape Kept Her Out

The Storm rookie has missed four games waiting for her work visa approval.
Canelo Alvarez
May 20, 2024

The Highest-Paid Professional Boxers in the World

Anthony Joshua tops the list of highest-earning active boxers in 2024.
May 20, 2024

Fanatics Sues Marvin Harrison Jr., Says He Leaked ‘Misleading’ Info to ESPN

Harrison’s side says the two sides don’t have a contract, which Fanatics disputes.