September 22, 2021

Taylor Daily Press

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Somers wants prize money for Olympic and Paralympic athletes

Somers wants prize money for Olympic and Paralympic athletes

The reward for Paralympians is much lower than the prize money for Olympic athletes. Flemish Equal Opportunity Minister Bart Sommers (Open VLD) wants to do something about it. Sommers will enter talks with the Belgian Olympic Committee (BOIC) and the Paralympic Committee for the Equalization of Rewards.

In our country, the winner of a gold medal at the Olympic Games receives a bonus of 50,000 euros. The silver medal is 30 thousand euros and the bronze medal is 20 thousand euros. At the Paralympic Games, you deduct 15 thousand euros, 10 thousand euros and 7,500 euros, respectively.

“There is no reason why a silver medal at the Paralympics should be worth at least three times as much as a silver at the Olympics,” says Bart Sommers, Flemish Minister for Equal Opportunity. Nor is there a reason why the government should reward places 4-8 in the Olympics, and the same honorary places in the Paralympics are not. It is clear that our Paralympic Games deserve the same amount of respect and appreciation as the Olympic athletes.

Summers plans to hold consultations with the BOIC and the Paralympic Committee for Equal Pay for Paralympic and Olympic Athletes. In countries such as the United States, Germany and France, the value of the prize is the same. We have to do that here too. I will enter into a discussion with the BOIC and the Paralympic Committee, and also look for what is possible from a Flemish equal opportunity specialist. This is not only logic per se, but also symbolically and socially significant. People with disabilities are not second-class citizens, but they deserve equal opportunities and fair pay.

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