Australian athletes get extra A$257 mln funds ahead of Paris 2024 games

On Wednesday, Australia announced an additional A$257 million ($184 million) in financing for athletes ahead of the 2024 Paris Summer Games, kicking off its preparations for hosting the Olympics and Paralympics in 2032.

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has made an unprecedented commitment to funding for the whole four-year Olympic cycle, allowing sports to plan ahead of time rather than waiting for annual allocations.

The monies would be targeted towards certain sports and would be in addition to A$14.6 million in individual grants and an annual government commitment of A$82.2 million, according to the AIS.

“This financing commitment is made possible by the Australian government’s belief and faith in Australian sport,” said AIS chief executive Peter Conde.

“The Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo invigorated us all, and we worked with the government to secure longer-term funding so that we could plan ahead and build on that success.”

Women’s rugby sevens, rowing, surfing, skateboarding, and para canoeing will be among the sports targeted for further support as Australia prepares for the 2032 Summer Games in Brisbane.

In the years leading up to the Games, host nations generally invest extensively in elite sport to assure a strong performance on home territory.

Over the last two decades, Australia has been one of the losers in an increasingly fierce and expensive worldwide competition for Olympic gold.

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the host nation finished fourth in the medals table, but by the 2016 Rio Olympics, they had plummeted to tenth. They finished sixth in Tokyo earlier this year thanks to a solid showing in the pool.

“We are in the midst of an exciting time for Australian sport,” said Australian Sports Commission head Josephine Sukkar.

“With Paris barely two and a half years away, our commitment to long-term success, the green and gold runway to Brisbane 2032, is also top of mind.”

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