Australia's Paralympic medallists will receive the same medal bonuses paid to their Olympic counterparts, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced to parliament.
Sports fans have been calling for Paralympians to receive the payments in line with Olympic athletes after an SBS report revealed they did not, nor had ever received the performance bonus.
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The PM announced on Thursday afternoon in Parliament that Paralympic athletes who win medals from the Tokyo Games onwards will be paid $20,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze in line with Olympic athletes.
Extra funding will be allocated to Paralympics Australia for the payments to be made to medal-winning athletes.
The revelation that Paralympians were not paid the same incentive bonuses as Olympic athletes led to an outcry on social media from Aussie sporting fans.
Here's @ScottMorrisonMP announcing funding for Paralympics Australia so it can pay Paralympians the same medal bonuses as Olympians. ($20k gold, $15k silver, $10k bronze). @10NewsFirst pic.twitter.com/Yv1Nk2daeG
— Chloe Bouras (@ChloeBouras) September 2, 2021
The power of great reporting. Amazing stuff by @SBSNews @michelle_lias to first highlight this important issue which has now ensured Paralympic medallists will receive equal payments to their Olympic counterparts. https://t.co/lSIEYhKJaK
— Adrian Arciuli (@Adrian_Arciuli) September 2, 2021
The superhumans get nothing??? That’s a disgrace.
“Australian Olympians who won gold at the Tokyo Games received $20,000. Our Paralympians will get zero” https://t.co/OCd93DzXIW
— 🩴 Annie Parker 🩴 #SmashThePatriarchy #FullyVaxed (@annie_parker) August 28, 2021
Outrage over Paralympic pay disparity
A spokesperson from Paralympics Australia told the SBS they had simply never been granted the funding to pay their athletes in line with the Australian Olympic Team.
"Paralympic Australia simply doesn’t have the funds for medal bonuses – and they never have," they said.
Aussie sprinter Scott Reardon said the reality is Para-athletes are treated differently.
"In a perfect world, we would have equality across the board - in men's sport, women's sport, para-sport," he told SBS.
America and a number of other countries moved to award their Paralympic athletes with the same cash prizes as Olympians at this year's Games, a move that has been widely celebrated.
But Canada is another country where Paralympians get nothing, while New Zealand doesn't award cash prizes to Olympians or Paralympians.
Host nation Japan awards Paralympic gold medallists $38,000, some $25,000 less than their Olympic compatriots.
Serena Ovens, CEO of the Physical Disability Council of NSW, told SBS she believes in Australia "we absolutely still see disability as something less".
"We prize our Olympians but still don't think our Paralympians have attained the same sort of elite level," she said.
"Paralympians work as hard, if not harder, to get to where they're at to compete for their country."
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