Olympics $

28 08 2008

Olympic is a making-money event.. this is for sure..

With Singapore giving out S$1million cash prize for an individual golds, I also like the way Malaysia rewards theirs…  Conferred the title of Datuk and having monthly lifetime pension…

Nice …

Olympics $

When it comes to rewarding its athletes, Singapore’s $1m cash prize for an individual gold tops the table

By Wang Meng Meng  

It is the ka-ching Olympics.

At the top of the table, where financial rewards are concerned, is Singapore.

To end its 48-year Olympic medal drought, the Republic dangled huge carrots to its athletes, including a $1 million cash prize for an individual gold.

When paddlers Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu and Li Jiawei smashed their way to the team silver, the trio were handsomely rewarded with $750,000.

The money is expected to be shared with coaches and a portion given to the Singapore Table Tennis Association.

The reward easily eclipses the $463,000 offered by the Philippines or the $128,000 the Malaysian government showered on shuttler Lee Chong Wei, who took home a silver.

Victorious Greeks will not only have 190,000 euros ($397,000) waiting for them in the bank, there is also the promise of a civil service job and big, fat endorsement contracts.

To be sure, there is a correlation between the size of the monetary perks and a country’s history of sporting excellence.

Singapore has not tasted Olympic glory since weightlifter Tan Howe Liang hoisted his way to a silver in Rome back in 1960.

Malaysia has waited since 1996 for another medal before Lee grabbed the silver in the men’s badminton singles competition.

Such is the country’s elation that the 26-year-old will be conferred the title of Datuk by the Penang government. He will also enjoy a RM3,000 (S$1,267) monthly lifetime pension.

Unfortunately for the Philippines, the whopping incentives offered failed to end its 12-year hoodoo.

At the other end of the spectrum is the United States.

A gold is worth US$25,995 (S$36,700) to Uncle Sam. That means swimmer Michael Phelps, with eight golds dangling from his neck, will cash in US$207,960.

Other powerhouses offering less attractive packages are Australia and Germany (both 12,500 euros or S$26,100).

Bucking the trend is China, which is going all out to topple the US in the medals chart. It hands out 150,000 euros for a gold.

Automobiles are another form of reward.

Take Lithuania and Thailand, for example.

The former Soviet republic has put a 64,500 euros bounty on a golden gong and will throw in a BMW as a sweetener.

When weightlifter Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon had her way in the 53kg women’s class, she was guaranteed 16 million baht (S$664,000) in cash and a Toyota pick-up truck.

meng@sph.com.sg

Source:StraitsTime

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