Grange defends multimillion-dollar Olympic celebrations

October 13, 2016

Minister of Sport Olivia 'Babsy' Grange has defended the Government's decision to shell out Jamaican $42 million to members of the Rio Olympic and Paralympic delegations.

Grange said it was a symbolic gesture to demonstrate the country's appreciation of the achievements of its champions.

"Those who one would think don't need the money, may not need the money, but they have charities and I know that in some instances they will put in those funds into their charity organisations," Grange told STAR Sports.

Grange said the view that most athletes are financially well-off is not necessarily so.

"There are others who cannot be considered rich or wealthy, and although they represent Jamaica well they may have personal issues that have to be addressed and so we are treating each athlete on a one on one," she said.

She stressed, in cases where the Government is asked to provide assistance to athletes, they will keep those discussions private.

Grange was speaking at the launch of the programme of celebration for Rio Olympians and Paralympians held at the Spanish Court Hotel on Tuesday.

Triple gold medallist Usain Bolt, double sprint champion Elaine Thompson, and 110m hurdles champion, Omar McLeod, for their gold medal runs in Rio will receive the equivalent of US$10,000 for each individual gold medal.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and bronze medallist Shericka Jackson will both pocket US $5,000.

The women's 4x100m and the men's and women's 4x400m teams will receive over US $4,000 to be shared among members of both teams.

Non-medalling finalists will collect US $3,500, while non-finalists will get their hands on US$2,500.

Team managers and officials will receive under US$1,000.

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