The opening answers you | Injustice for disabled athletes

Photograph by Marko Djurica, Reuters

Canada’s Nate Rich wins gold in the 1500m at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Philip Mercury

Philip Mercury
Journalism

Do you have questions about our editorials? Questions about hot topics in the news? Every week, the editorial team responds to readers Journalism.


s. I read recently that Olympic medal winners get a big cash prize, but Para Olympic medalists get nothing. How do you remedy this injustice?

Pierre Dubuis

R was found. Mother. Dupuy,

She had us do some research and find some interesting things.

The Canadian Olympic Committee offers scholarships to athletes who win medals at the Olympic Games. The amounts are $20,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver medal, and $10,000 for a bronze medal.

On the other hand, athletes who win medals at the Paralympics do not receive any scholarships. So you are right to talk about injustice.

How is it settled? It’s complicated. It should be noted that these two separate organizations – the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee – manage the development of Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

We don’t have access to each organization’s budgets, but the COC’s budget is clearly much higher than the other. The majority of this budget comes from sponsorships and partnerships with businesses. A portion also comes from the profits made by the Calgary Games in 1988.

In 2015, the Canadian Paralympic Committee established a foundation to raise corporate and public donations. Unfortunately, it is still unable to offer scholarships to Paralympic athletes who win medals.

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So the injustice continues. “I won my last medal in 2008 and we were really talking about it at the time,” laments Chantal Petticlerk, a well-known former Paralympian who is now a senator.

In the United States, the Olympic and Paralympic committees merged a few years ago, leading to the ban being lifted. In 2018, the decision was made to offer the same scholarships to Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

Should the two Canadian commissions be merged? We are told that discussions on this topic have already taken place. However, Chantal does not endorse Petticlerc, saying that the Paralympic Committee will become “a little fish in a big bowl”. Instead, it wants the government to deliver the rewards itself, as is the case in many countries – notably Italy and Singapore.

We can also wonder why companies don’t jump to such an opportunity to settle injustice and project a socially responsible image by gang. interested?

One thing is for sure, this disparity is embarrassing for Canada, where differences in treatment between athletes make headlines. Just last Wednesday, the US Soccer Federation announced that it would finally offer the same contract to its athletes and athletes. In 2019, several US women’s team players sued their union to demand the same salaries as the male players.

There is no place for discrimination based on gender or disability anywhere – including in sports.

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