tatjana schoenmaker wins gold
Image Credit: FB@sanewsgovza

South Africa’s Department of Sports, Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, has finally announced the financial incentives for medal winning Tokyo Games 2020 Paralympic and Olympic athletes and their coaches.

The announcement means that Olympic swimming sensation Tatjana Schoenmaker, who broke a world record in the pool on her way to bagging silver and gold medals, will be rewarded with at least R850 000.

Surfer Bianca Buitendag will earn at least R220 000 from her exploits at the Tokyo Games, where she walked away with a silver medal in surfing’s debut appearance at the Olympics.

Mthethwa announced the following incentives for South Africa’s medal winning athletes:

  • Gold medal winners will be rewarded with R450 000 with their coach earning R120 000
  • Silver medal winners will be rewarded with R220 000 with their coach earning R70 000
  • Bronze medal winners will be rewarded with R100 000 with their coach winning R30 000
  • World Record breaking feats will earn athletes R180 000

In reference to earlier criticism that SA had not rewarded its athletes, Mthethwa said:

“We are guided by our core values of an athlete-centred and excellence-driven sports system. Our aim is to provide incentives and to applaud individual athletes and teams who continue to make our nation proud by displaying exceptional performance and attaining remarkable results.

“Rewarding of excellence, especially every four years with the primary focus on Olympics, has been a permanent feature in our sporting calendar.”

Minister Mthethwa praised the two athletes for their performances at the games and expressed great hope for athletes currently competing at the Paralympics.

“Let me take this opportunity to shower with felicitations, both our athletes for doing exceptionally well at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Thanks to both athletes for bringing pride and honour to our country and for uplifting our spirit especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am equally confident that our Paralympians will do better and bring more medals which will be worthy of various celebrations and form part of our class of 2021 great achievers,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za.