Unlike their Olympic counterparts, Canadian Paralympic athletes do not receive bonuses for winning medals. But this injustice will soon be rectified, Carla Qualtrough promises.
Qualtrough said this in an interview with CBC Sports on Thursday, during an interview on the sidelines of the Parapan American Games.
It will happen, she declared. I can’t reveal the details to anyone so I can’t give more details, but I can assure you that we will have good news to announce before the Paris Games.
Former Paralympic champion Chantal Petitclerc, as well as other athletes like Aurélie Rivard, they repeatedly condemned the current situation. At the end of the last Paralympic Games, held in Beijing, the then Minister of Sports, Pascale St-Onge, he told Radio-Canada Sports to look for a solution.
It has been since then he gave way to Carla Qualtrougha former Paralympic swimmer herself.
Since 2008, Canadian Olympic athletes have received a bonus for finishing in the top three at the Olympics.
For gold, $20,000; for money, $15,000; and 10,000 dollars for bronze.
These performance bonuses are paid through the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) Athlete Excellence Fund. It is mostly private donors who fill the coffers. For its part, the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) does not have similar financial support.
It is a symbolic gesture, but also a tangible gesture. Being an athlete costs money, and athletes with disabilities face additional costs and barriersexplained Qualtrough, who is visually impaired.
One of the two heads of the maple leaf mission for the Parapan American Games, Karolina Wisniewska, also believes this would be a step in the right direction.
It is absolutely more than a symbol, it is a way of connecting action with words. Everyone is talking about fairness, it’s time to be consistent.
Wisniewska represented her country at the Paralympic Games on three occasions, winning eight medals in alpine skiing along the way.
It would be a great contribution for athletes who face different and higher costs. It would even be of even greater help to them than to the Olympic athletes, if I may go so far in my remarks.
I work in sports systems and I know well those in other countries. We clearly see that Canada has to make up for some loss.
Other countries, such as Australia and the United States, have recently released additional funding to enable equality between athletes and para-athletes.
The Parapan American Games begin this Friday, November 17 and will be broadcast until November 26 on the Radio-Canada Sports website.