Track & Field Revolution: World Athletics Becomes First Sports Association on Planet to Compensate Gold Medalists at Olympics

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The planet’s best track and field (athletics) competitors suddenly got extra motivation to fight for gold medals at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. The World Athletics is the first in the world to reward Olympic champions.

World Athletics (the international governing body for the sport of athletics, formerly known as the International Amateur Athletic Federation and International Association of Athletics Federations) claims – and it undoubtedly is – in its press release to be the first international sports federation to present cash prizes at an Olympic Games, either Summer or Winter, and it will give $50,000 to each gold medalist in individual track and field as well as the winning relay team in the Paris Games.

World Athletics Gives Explanation for This Truly Unprecedented Decision

It’s a truly revolutionary decision in the world of sports! Also, from the next Games in Los Angeles in 2028, compensations will also be given to winners of other medals. In Paris, for starters, only the champions will get the money. And all this has nothing to do with the cash prizes that countries (national federations of governments) set for their medal winners.

While it is impossible to put a marketable value on an Olympic medal or the dedication and focus required to even represent your country at an Olympic Games, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe (gold and silver medalist in the 1,500 meters and 800 meters in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics for Great Britain) stated in a press release that “I think it’s important we start somewhere and 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.”

Where Will World Athletics Get Money for Prize Pool from?

The overall prize money pool for World Athletics’ 48 Olympic track and field events is $2.4 million. Six relays and 42 solo events are included. Athletes will split the $50,000 prize money among their winning relay teams.

World Athletics uses funds from the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) revenue share distribution program, in which the IOC gives world federations of Olympic sports a portion of its earnings, partly from broadcast, every four years following each Games. Following Tokyo, the IOC gave international federations $540 million in funding, of which $39.48 million went to World Athletics.

The medalists from each country are additionally given prize money by some national Olympic committees, such as the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), and governments. At the most recent Games, the USOPC gave out $37,500 for gold, $22,500 for silver, and $15,000 for bronze.

5 Biggest Track & Field Stars to Watch During 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics being long behind us, a new wave of Olympic superstars has made their global debuts. Young, driven athletes have been waiting for their chance to shine in the spotlight; they may not be Usain Bolt anymore, breaking records each time they take the track. In Tokyo, numerous world and Olympic records were broken. Track and field sprinter Allyson Felix became the most decorated American Olympian in history by winning her record-tying eleventh medal.

While some of these athletes may have given their last Olympic performances or plan to have the “last dance” in Paris, others are just beginning. Let’s look at some of the top track and field competitors from the Tokyo Games who’ll make a comeback to our TV screens in 2024 during the Paris Olympics.

# 5 Erriyon Knighton (USA)

Americans may expect to watch Erriyon Knighton compete in two, if not three, more Olympic cycles because he was only 17 years old at the Tokyo Games, making him the youngest male track athlete from the United States since 1964 and Jim Ryun and the youngest

And you saw why that’s so thrilling if you watched Knighton at the Tokyo Games in any capacity. Since Usain Bolt, Knighton has emerged as one of the most captivating track and field competitors. Knighton’s achievement in the boys’ 200 meters is well merited; in May of 2021, he beat Bolt’s under-18 world record by a mere two hundredth of a second. He beat Bolt’s under-20 world record in the 200-meter semifinal at the U.S. Olympic Trials that June, and he later broke his own world record to earn a trip to Tokyo.

However, Knighton felt that his ultimate ambition of winning a medal had eluded him when he departed Tokyo after finishing first in his 200-meter semifinal heat. Despite finishing fourth in the final, he became the youngest men’s track finalist in the history of the modern Olympic Games.

# 4 Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela)

Yulimar Rojas, dubbed the “Queen of the Triple Jump”, is among the top competitors in the field.

She broke the world record for women’s vertical jump in 2022, clearing 15.74 meters. She also made history by becoming the first female Venezuelan to win an Olympic gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Rojas stated that she intends to jump 16 meters in Paris.

# 3 Sha’Carri Richardson (USA)

Sha’Carri Richardson is one of the many exceptional sprinters of today. She tested positive for marijuana and was deemed a medal possibility for the 2020 Olympics, but she was unable to compete. She overcame her disappointment to win a gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the 2023 World Championships, finishing with the fifth-fastest time ever recorded by a woman.

Richardson will probably get more admirers during the Paris Games thanks to her quickness and her unique style.

# 2 Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya)

Eliud Kipchoge, who’s regarded as the greatest marathoner in history, has placed first in 15 of his 18 races.

He has won marathons in Chicago (2014), Berlin (2015, 2017, 2018, 2022, and 2023), and London (2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019) in addition to two gold medals from the Olympics. In an unofficial marathon in 2019, he also surpassed the two-hour mark, completing in one hour, 59 minutes, and 40 seconds. However, because the event didn’t adhere to competition standards, the time wasn’t officially acknowledged.

# 1 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica)

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a two-time gold medalist in the 100-meter dash, is regarded as one of the top female sprinters in the world. At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2012 London Games, the 1.6-meter tall “Pocket Rocket” won gold medals in the 100-meter race.

She won a silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. She declared that her final competition will be at the 2024 Paris Games.

Fraser-Pryce, at 37, may not appear to be at her best 16 years after her victory in Beijing, but she’s still talented enough to win an amazing 11th global 100-meter medal and she should be everyone’s pick for an outright win in this discipline at the moment Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games top bookmakers release their odds (they did for some events thus far, such as tennis, football, basketball, volleyball, etc.)

There will be 1,810 competitors in athletics at the 2024 Summer Olympics, who’ll battle for medals on three locations depending on a discipline: Stade de France (track and field events) Pont d’Iéna (race walk), and Hôtel de Ville and Les Invalides (marathon). Dates when competitions for athletics in Paris are to take place are from August 1 to August 11.