September 22, 2018 / 12:09 AM / in a month

Olympics - USOC boosts payments to Paralympians

(Reuters) - Olympians and Paralympians from the United States will now earn equal payouts for winning medals with payments retroactively distributed to include this year’s Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, the U.S. Olympic Committee said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium - Pyeongchang, South Korea - March 9, 2018 - Mike Schultz of the U.S. carries the national flag during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

Paralympic athletes will receive $37,500 for each gold medal, $22,500 for silver and $15,000 for bronze after the USOC board approved the increase at its meeting in Colorado Springs.

“We are creating parity and equity for Paralympians,” USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said during a call with reporters on Friday.

“That’s new, it’s exciting and it’s incredibly consistent with our commitment to Paralympic sports and Paralympic athletes,” she said.

“The Paralympians are an integral part of our organisation and we want to ensure that we’re rewarding their accomplishments appropriately and we’re excited to do so.”

The U.S. Paralympic Team won 13 golds, 15 silvers and eight bronzes to top the medals table in Pyeongchang and the retroactive payments will place more than $1.2 million in the hands of 2018 Paralympic medallists, the USOC said.

Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Nick Mulvenney

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