For the first time, the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) will offer monetary bonuses to any athlete who receives a medal at an associated competition, starting this month at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, with the highest award of $US3,000 being offered to a gold medalist in an individual event.
The TTOC announced its bonus structure yesterday via media release. This follows the launch of a "ten or more Olympic Gold medals by 2024 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund", spearheaded by TTOC president Brian Lewis last December. The prize structure for the Pan Am Games covers medal winning athletes in individual, relay events and team events with a single athlete set to receive anywhere from US$750-$3,000 depending on the event.
Individual gold medal winners will receive US3,000, followed by US$2,000 and $1,000 for silver and bronze medals, respectively. Relay gold medal teams will earn US$9,000 for gold; US$6,000 for silver and US$3,000 for bronze, while each athlete who earns a gold medal in a team sport, such as football, takes US$1,500 each; US$1,000 for silver and US$750 per athlete for bronze.
The TTOC said it was determined to take the necessary steps and decisions in its effort to create the environment that would assist the athletes in striving to achieve medal winning objectives.The release said: "The introduction of medal bonuses is an essential component of the ten or more Olympic Gold medals athlete welfare and preparation programme.
"In pursuit of its strategic goals and objectives, the TTOC acknowledges the support of its corporate partners: bpTT, Guardian Group, Scotiabank, adidas, Lisa Communications and NLCB."Its an exciting time for the TTOC. One year to Rio 2016 is just around the corner. Pan Am Toronto will get underway this week. Lots of challenges but its exciting."
Last Friday, the TTOC announced a partnership with the NLCB intended to raise funds for the welfare and preparation of Olympic athletes. Yesterday, NLCB, through its 800-plus agents, began the sale of $10 scratch cards bearing a "#10Gold24" logo, of which part proceeds go to the athletes' fund. For every 500,000 cards sold, NLCB will donate $200,000-$250,000 to the fund.