SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian swimmers will receive A$35,000 for winning individual gold at the London Olympics later this year, Swimming Australia said on Monday.
The incentive comes as part of a new financial package, the New High Performance model, which will see top swimmers receive initial payments of A$25,000 as well as the medal bonuses.
Winners of relay gold medals will share an A$60,000 bonus between all the swimmers who took part, including those who swam the heats.
James Magnussen, who is favourite to win the men’s 100 metres gold at the July 27-August12 Games, welcomed the initiative while saying that it would not add any extra incentive for him personally.
“Olympic medals are something you grow up dreaming about, long before you think you might be able to make a living out of sport,” he said in a news release.
“In all honesty my incentives for success in London are personal and in no way financial, but I see merit in rewarding success at international meets, especially if as a team we aim to return to the top of world swimming.”
Stephanie Rice, whose two individual and one relay gold medals at the last Olympics in Beijing would have earned her an additional A$78,500 under the new scheme, also welcomed more incentives for Australians to make a mark on the world stage.
“Our talent pool is much smaller than some of the bigger nations like the U.S. and China, so we have to always aim high and look at what the international benchmarks are,” she said.
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Amlan Chakraborty