All US athletes will now receive $37,500 for a gold medal, $22,500 for silver and $15,000 for bronze
Paralympic athletes previously received $7,500 for a gold medal, $5,250 for silver and $3,750 for bronze
Eight-time Paralympic skiing medalist Oksana Masters described the decision as ‘life-changing’ for her and many others
Medalists from 2018 received retroactive pay increases but the Tokyo Games will be the first time pay is equal from the get-go.
More than $1.2million in back-payments was given to Paralympic medalists following the committee’s decision, Huff Post reported.
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) made the announcement months after the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
A year later the USOC changed its name to include the word ‘Paralympic’ – the first Olympic Committee in the world to do so and is now the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC).
The delayed 2020 Olympics are scheduled to conclude August 8. The Paralympics will then begin August 25 and wrap up September 5.
USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said: ‘Paralympians are an integral part of our athlete community and we need to ensure we’re appropriately rewarding their accomplishments.
‘Our financial investment in US Paralympics and the athletes we serve is at an all-time high but this was one area where a discrepancy existed in our funding model that we felt needed to change.’
The announcement got an immediate reaction from Team USA Paralympians.
At the time, eight-time Paralympic skiing medalist Oksana Masters posted an emotional video on social media celebrating the decision.
‘I just found out the best news possible,’ Masters said through tears.
‘This is absolutely life-changing to not just me but to so many Paralympians out there. And the fact that at the LA 2028 Games a nine-year-old girl is going to have an immense amount of opportunity… I cannot thank enough,’ she added.
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