Pan Am athletes to be rewarded for success in Canada

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), in an effort to give its athletes extra motivation to perform at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, Canada, has announced medal bonuses which will form part of the TTOC's 10 or more Olympic gold medals athlete welfare and preparation programme.

TTOC president Brian Lewis set a national objective to achieve eight more Olympic gold medals by the 2024 Summer Games and for the first time in its history the TTOC will have a medal bonus which will see athletes getting US$3,000 for winning a gold medal, US$2,000 for a silver and US$1,000 for bronze in individual competition at the Toronto Games which start on Friday.

In the relay events, teams will get US$9,000 for gold, US$6,000 for silver and US$3,000 for bronze.

In respect of team sports, US$1,500 will be rewarded per athlete for a gold, US$1,000 for silver and US$750 for bronze.

The TTOC is determined to take the necessary steps and decisions in its effort to create the environment that will assist

the athletes in striving to achieve medal winning objectives.

TTOC vice-president Dr Ian Hypolite feels that the introduction of the medal bonuses could be a very worthwhile initiative.

He said that while athletes are already motivated to do well, the incentives will let them know their efforts are appreciated and will be like the icing on the cake.

“Anything that serves to incentivise our athletes is obviously welcome,” Hypolite told the Express. “It is a bold initiative and principle in the cause in an attempt to incorporate corporate Trinidad in the process.”

“There are a lot of expectations surrounding our athletes but I think the public needs to understand that athletic success is not a give and that support is always vital. The incentives are one thing but what the TTOC is really calling upon is for corporate Trinidad and Tobago to support our athletes,” he explained.

“Motivation is a complex thing. Many athletes are already intrinsically motivated however some extrinsic motivation in the form of a reward can always be like the icing on the cake so to speak,” Hypolite added.

“I don't think there are any athletes who are going to say they are going to run for the money. They are already motivated to do well but I think the rewards will be an indication of some level of appreciation for the athletes' commitment towards Trinidad and Tobago and I think that is also a major consideration,” he said.

According to a TTOC press release, “the introduction of medal bonuses is an essential component of the 10 or more Olympic Gold medals athlete welfare and preparation programme.

“In pursuit of its strategic goals and objectives the TTOC acknowledges the support of its corporate partners: bpTT, Guardian Group, Scotiabank, Adidas, Lisa Communications and NLCB. It is an exciting time for the TTOC. Rio 2016 is just around the corner. Pan Am Toronto will get underway this week. Lots of challenges but it's exciting,” the release stated.