Guess you all know that Olympics medals do not come with prize money from the competition organisers, but some countries always reward their athletes. Also athletes make money from their sponsors and endorsements.
To be clearer, not every country offers a prize for a podium performance. Great Britain, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden, for example, don’t provide any extra pay for medals.
Meanwhile other countries offer huge sums of money to their winners. Singapore offers the highest known pay out for an individual gold medalist at 1 million Singapore dollars($738,000), plus rewards of 500,000 ( about $360000) for silver medalists and 250,000 (about $ 184,000) for bronze medalists.
In Africa, South Africa offers the largest cash prize for its gold medal winner at about $37,000 (Shs131m), $19,000 (about Shs67m) for Silver and $7,000 (Shs25m) for Bronze.
In East Africa, Kenya reportedly pays one million Kenyan shillings (Shs36m) for gold medalists, $7,500 (about Shs27m) for silver, and $5000 (Shs18m) for bronze.
Uganda has no specific pay out structure for its winners. When John Akii-Bua managed to win the 400m Hurdles at the 1972 Olympic Games, becoming the first Ugandan athlete to win an Olympic Gold medal, he became a national hero and was rewarded with celebrations and unidentified gifts from President Idi Amin.
The Pearl of Africa endured a long dry spell of 40 years to land on an Olympic medal and in 2012 in London, Stephen Kiprotich, a prison warden ‘did it’ for Uganda and won the men’s marathon.
On return to Uganda, he received a heroic welcome and President Yoweri Museveni gave him a cheque worth $80,000 (going by current ratings its about Shs284m). He was also promoted nine ranks to become an assistant superintendent in the prisons service.
Its at that point that President Museveni said all medal winners at either continental or world level qualify for a monthly stipend. Gold medallists in Uganda are entitled to Shs5 million, Silver Shs3 million and Bronze Shs1 million monthly. However, over the years athletes have been complaining about not receiving their monthly pays on time.
Rewards fate of the new Olympic champions Cheptegei and Chemutai and bronze medallist Kiplimo
Joshua Cheptegei, Peruth Chemutai and Jacob Kiplimo are the reason Uganda registered it’s best ever performance in the Olympic games history. Uganda won four medals two gold won by Cheptegei and Chemutai then silver by Cheptegei and bronze from Kiplimo.
The heroics have in the past weeks united people and also seen everyone be proud of being Ugandan. It’s on such grounds that everyone hopes the brave men and woman behind the recent smiles are superbly rewarded.
Just like how Kiprotich was presented a cheque, we expect the same to be done for the three winners. Similarly we anticipate government will give them brand new cars, is that too much to ask from a government that can afford to give the likes Full Figure, Isma Olaxess, Catherine Kusasira and Bucherman among others lavish rides for just ‘making noise.’
Expectation of a special treat for the gold winners is land and a house constructed on it. It will also be the right time for government to remember and fulfil the promise it made 11 years ago when Moses Kipsiro won a gold medal, government pledged to construct a modern training facility in Kapchorwa.
Also the trio will be put on the monthly payroll. For Chepetegei and Chemutai who are attached to Police, a promotion in rank is awaiting them.