Scott Morrison steps in amid Paralympics pay 'disgrace'

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Australian Paralympic medallists, such as Grant Patterson and Madison de Rozario, will now be paid medal bonuses in line with their Olympic counterparts. Pictures: Getty Images
Australian Paralympic medallists, such as Grant Patterson and Madison de Rozario, will now be paid medal bonuses in line with their Olympic counterparts. Pictures: Getty Images

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.

'GOING NUTS': World goes bonkers over Aussie Paralympic hero

'DESERVE BETTER': China rages at detail on Olympic gold medals

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.

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."

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting