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Australian Paralympians Don't Earn Anything If They Get A Medal At Tokyo Games

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Australian Paralympians Don't Earn Anything If They Get A Medal At Tokyo Games

By Stewart Perrie

People have been shocked to know Australia's Paralympians don't get any money from the governing body for scoring a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The policy was very different for our Olympians, with athletes who scored gold walking away with $20,000, silver earned them $15,000 and bronze granted them a $10,000 cheque.

However, Paralympic athletes from Down Under will receive diddly-squat for their efforts from Paralympics Australia.

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The revelation has made shockwaves around Australia, with many people demanding equal pay.

Australia's Darren Hicks celebrates with his silver medal after finishing second in the Men's C2 3000 metres Individual Pursuit. Credit: PA
Australia's Darren Hicks celebrates with his silver medal after finishing second in the Men's C2 3000 metres Individual Pursuit. Credit: PA

One person wrote on Facebook: "It's an absolute disgrace. Paralympians also get less funding and sponsorship deals. This needs to change."

Another added: "This is disgusting and needs changing immediately. They are athletes and work just as hard the other Olympians."

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However, the governing body's chief executive, Lynne Anderson, said it's not for a lack of trying.

She said in a statement that they would love to be able to hand out money, but sadly they don't have the capacity to be that generous.

"Paralympics Australia absolutely agrees that our Paralympians deserve equity of recognition," she said. "PA have never had a funding program for Paralympic Games medallists as we just don't have this funding available from grants or sponsorship.

"This is something we will look at again after the Tokyo Games."

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The financial plight of these athletes was highlighted by Australian Olympian Chloe Dalton.

The rugby sevens gold medallist from the 2016 Rio Games was horrified to learn her Paralympic counterparts weren't raking in the same dough and has set out to change it.

Australia's Darren Hicks celebrates with his silver medal after finishing second in the Men's C2 3000 metres Individual Pursuit. Credit: PA
Australia's Darren Hicks celebrates with his silver medal after finishing second in the Men's C2 3000 metres Individual Pursuit. Credit: PA

She's launched a GoFundMe to raise funds that will be split between Australia's Paralympic medal winners.

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Chloe told the Sydney Morning Herald: "My mind was blown when I found out they get zero dollars. I was under the impression it would be the same medal bonus across Olympics and Paralympics.

"A big part of it that made me feel so frustrated is that there isn't a single Paralympian competing in Tokyo that would have put in less work than an Olympian. And similar story for us in Rio as well."

In just one day, Chloe has raised more than $30,000 and is hoping to raise a total of $100,000 before the Tokyo Paralympic Games is over.

She acknowledged that some Paralympians receive money for earning a medal, however that's from sponsors and people outside the Australian Paralympic community.

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But these athletes should be treated the same and she's hoping sponsors to donate funds to Paralympics Australia so that the next Games can see equal pay.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: tokyo paralympics, Paralympics, Australia

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