How much do we pay for medals at the Tokyo Olympics?
There are some stark figures arising from GB’s great successes at Tokyo 2020.
The average cost per medal is just under £3.5m, so all the sports below Modern Pentathlon in the following table definitely have questions to answer as each of their medals cost more than the average.
It’s patently clear that very many of the better-funded sports are not as accessible as some of the other ones. Rowing, in particular, must be worried, I live in an area where there are LOTS of rowers…pretty much all of them are private school-based and do not need subsidising. My local skatepark (Bushy Park) is heavily used but it’s tiny.
You also have to think that British Cycling will escape criticism by the excellent performances in MTB/BMX, although GB did finish top of the Velodrome medal table.
- Q: What sports should we fund more and which ones less?
- A: My personal view is that the ‘new’ sports of skateboarding, BMX, surfing and sport climbing were exciting to watch as were the mixed relays (swim/triathlon). More of those please!!!…Fencing??””?? nah, it’s not relevant in 2021 even though I’d really fancy a go at Kendo.
- Q: If YOU had to invest more in one sport which would it be?
- A: For me, it would be gymnastics. I don’t especially like watching it but it is accessible, it has performed well and there is scope to do much better for both men and women.
|Sport||UK Sport funding amount||Medals at Tokyo 2020||Cost Per Medal|
|Sport climbing||£678,722||0||Oh dear|
|Table tennis||£325,100||0||Oh dear|
Interestingly the Americans incentivise athletes these amounts for each medal (with caveats)
- Gold – 37,500 USD
- Silver – 22,500 USD
- Bonze – 15,000 USD
with the Japanese getting similar amounts
- Gold – $38,200
- Silver – $25,500
- Bronze – $12,700