Paris Olympics to pay track and field athletes–gold medalists get $50K

FILE-After winning the 2024 Olympic bid, Paris put the Olympic rings in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. (Photo by Julien Mattia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Track and field will become the first sport to offer prize money at this summer’s Paris Olympics, with gold medalists receiving $50,000. 

World Athletics, the governing body that supervises track and field competitions globally, told reporters that it allocated $2.4 million to pay the gold medalists across the 48 men’s, women's, and mixed events on the track and field program for this year's Paris Olympics.

Relay teams will split $50,000 between their members, and payments for silver and bronze medalists are planned to start from the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported. 

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The prize money will come out of the share of Olympic revenue that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) distributes to World Athletics.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe told reporters that the move is meant "to recognize that the revenue share that we receive is in large part because our athletes are the stars of the show," the AP noted. 

According to the AP, the modern Olympics was originally an amateur sporting event, and the IOC does not award prize money. But, many medalists get payments from their countries’ governments, national sports bodies, or sponsors.

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Olympic gold medalists in track and field will still get less prize money than at World Athletics' own world championships. The AP noted that last year's world championships in Budapest paid out prize money down to eighth place with $70,000 on offer for individual gold medalists.

Athletes will have to pass anti-doping procedures at the Paris Olympics before they receive the new prize money, World Athletics told the AP. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Washington, D.C.