Controversy ensues after World Athletics says it will offer prize money for Paris Olympics

Also in this week’s Olympic notebook, torch arrives in France, U.S. archery trials taking place next week in Florida

FILE - World Athletics President Sebastian Coe listens to a journalist's question during a press conference at the conclusion of the World Athletics meeting at the Italian National Olympic Committee, headquarters, in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File) (Gregorio Borgia, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

IOC, others speak out over historic decision by World Athletics

Last month, the governing body for track and field — World Athletics — made a landmark decision when it would award prize money for its athletes who win a gold medal at this summer’s Paris Olympics.

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In doing so, World Athletics became the first international federation governing a single sport to ever offer prize money for performance at an Olympics.

The decision has not exactly been met with ringing endorsements from the International Olympic Committee and other sports federations, according to an ESPN article.

“This is not a discussion about prize money because prize money exists for decades,” IOC president Thomas Bach said in an online media roundtable. “My [fencing] teammates and I in 1976, we received prize money for our gold medal through the foundation supported by the national Olympic Committee [of Germany]. In the meantime this is more or less common practice among NOCs.”

Presidents of other sports federations didn’t like the fact that World Athletics president Sebastian Coe didn’t consult them before the announcement, according to the ESPN article.

In April, Coe announced World Athletics would give $50,000 to athletes who won gold medals in each of the 48 track and field events in Paris, with the expectation that silver and bronze medal winners will receive prize money as well starting at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

As Bach mentioned, athletes who win medals at an Olympics often receive prize money from their country’s Olympic Committee, or other sports federations and government entities within that country.

But this is the first time in prize money will be offered by an international sports federation at an Olympics. Time will tell if more sports will follow suit.

Olympic torch arrives in France

After being birthed on April 16 in Greece, the Olympic flame on Wednesday arrived in France after a boat trip across the Mediterranean Sea.

The flame arrived in the southern port city of Marseille and will now be paraded and passed all across France until the opening ceremony on July 26. The flame will be traversed through caves, archaeological sites, palaces, war memorial sites, and numerous other places.

To view a video of the torch arriving via ship to Marseille, click or tap here.

Archery trials set for Monday, Tuesday in Florida

Another batch of Olympians will punch their ticket to Paris next week when the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Archery Trials will take place Monday in Tuesday in Newberry, Florida, which is just west of Gainesville.

The United States didn’t win a medal in any archery event during the Tokyo Olympics after winning two at the Rio Games.

About the Author

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.

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