Paralympics earn 52% more in awards than Olympians at the Tokyo Games

Team athletes during five-a-side football training in Hamamatsu, host city of the Brazilian delegation for acclimatization before the Paralympic Games in Tokyo (Matsui Mikihito/CPB)

SAO PAULO – When the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) announced that the prize money for the individual gold medal was R$ 160 thousand, many people criticized the amount for being less than R$ 250 thousand than the Olympic Committee of Brazil ( COB) paid for the highest place on the podium. The fact is that at the end of the Tokyo Games, athletes in the adapted sport earned a total of R$ 7 million, an amount 52% higher than the R$ 4.6 million received by conventional sports.

The CPB paid BRL 160 thousand for gold, BRL 64,000 for silver and BRL 32,000 for bronze, while the COB set aside BRL 250,000 for each champion, BRL 150,000 for runners-up and BRL 100,000 for the third parties. With 72 medals, 51 more than the Olympics, the Paralympics ended up making a lot more money. For example, swimmer Maria Carolina Santiago, who won three golds, one silver and one bronze, will take home R$544,000, R$144,000 more than gymnast Rebeca Andrade, who won the most revenue at the Olympics.

While Rebeca was the only Olympic athlete to win more than one medal at the Olympics, Brazil had several multi-medalists in the Paralympic Games. In addition to Maria Carolina Santiago, swimming had Gabriel Geraldo (R$ 384,000 – two golds and one silver), Gabriel Bandeira (R$ 304 thousand – one gold, two silvers and one bronze), Wendell Belarmino (R$ 224 thousand – one gold, one silver and one bronze) and Talisson Glock (R$ 208,000 – one gold and two bronzes). In athletics, Yeltsin Jacques placed two golds on his chest after winning the 1500 m and 500 m T11 and earned R$ 320,000. Alessandro Rodrigo (R$ 224 thousand – one gold and one silver) and Petrúcio Ferreira (R$ 192 thousand – one gold and one bronze) were the other highlights.

Another big difference happened in team sports. The CPB paid R$ 80 thousand per athlete, regardless of the medal competition was in pairs, team, relay or even a collective sport, while the COB paid for group podiums (two to six athletes) R$ 500 thousand, R$ 300 thousand and R$200 thousand, respectively, for each place on the podium and, for team sports, R$750 thousand, R$450 thousand and R$300 thousand.

As a result, the ten athletes who won the 5th Paralympic Championship in soccer 5 together earned R$ 800 thousand, R$ 50 thousand more than men’s soccer, which was twice Olympic champion. Each athlete on the visually impaired team took home R$80,000, while each of the 23 members of the team headed by André Jardine earned something around R$32,000.

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