South African Sport Says Reports Tatjana Schoenmaker Will Not Receive Medal Bonus Money Are False

tatjana schoenmaker, olympics, Jul 30, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA) reacts after winning the women's 200m breaststroke final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Grace Hollars-USA TODAY Sports

South African Sport Says Reports Tatjana Schoenmaker Will Not Receive Medal Bonus Money Are False

Following reports that Olympic medalists Tatjana Schoenmaker and Bianca Buitendag would not receive financial bonuses for their medal-winning efforts at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) disputed those claims on Tuesday. Barry Hendriks, the President of SASCOC, issued a statement that said the reports of non-payment were erroneous.

Schoenmaker was one of the stars of the swimming competition in Tokyo, as she set a world record en route to the gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke. She also won the silver medal in the 100 breaststroke, an event in which she set the Olympic record during rounds. Buitendag was the silver medalist in surfing.

“We have been consistent in saying that we are in negotiations with partners over the issue of financial rewards to medalists at both the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics,” Hendriks said. “It is true that the amounts have not been finalized given that the negotiations are ongoing. However, there has never been a point whereby a decision has been made to not offer medalists incentives.

“We did not want the issue of financial incentives to distract from the performances of the athletes at both Games. We are now between the Olympics and the Paralympics, and we believe that we should be consistent in our treatment of athletes. So, we didn’t want to say, ‘yes, we are offering incentives for the athletes and the incentives are x, y and z’.

“All along we wanted the athletes to concentrate on their performances without distraction. Both the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are being held in unprecedented times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We will be rewarding medalists and the amount for each medalist will be announced in due course once we have finalized negotiations with our partners.”

For medalists at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, SASCOC paid gold medalists the equivalent of $33,000, with silver medalists receiving $16,500 and bronze medalists receiving $6,700.