Team South Africa Return To Massive Welcome And Hefty Medal Bonuses
Team South Africa returned to Johannesburg from Brazil on Tuesday morning, fresh from their 10-medal winning exploits at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and they were met at OR Tambo International by thousands of fans who had packed the airport to welcome them home.
The 137 athletes who represented South Africa at the Games returned home with 10 medals; two gold, six silver and two bronze.
The country matched their tally of 10 medals from the 1920 Games in Antwerp and the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.
The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) rewarded the athletes for their medal achievements with cash bonuses, which were officially handed to the sportsmen and women in a ceremony that took place at the Johannesburg airport, according to Sport24.
Wayde van Niekerk and Sunette Viljoen were not at the official welcome event for Team SA, as they had gone straight from Brazil to Switzerland for the next Diamond League meet this coming weekend.
Team South Africa rewarded for medals
A total of approximately $256,300 was paid to the athletes and their coaching teams on their arrival from Brazil.
Gold medallists were promised $37,000 plus additional bonuses that were added for Caster Semenya and Wayde van Niekerk’s top performances.
Silver medallists were promised $19,940, and bronze medal achievers will earn $11,100, with a portion of those bonuses being paid to the coaches of medal winners.
In addition to the $37,000 paid to Semenya and Van Niekerk for their gold medal winning exploits, Van Niekerk will receive an extra $11,100 for breaking the world record in his men’s 400m race at the Rio Olympics, while Semenya earned herself another $7,400 for her excellent win in the women’s 800m event.
It is interesting to note that Great Britain athletes are not given any bonus for medals achieved, while in comparison, Team USA gold medallists receive a bonus of $25,000, according to NBC.
Team South Africa medal winners and their prize money
Wayde van Niekerk (and coach) – $48,100
Caster Semenya (and coach) – $44,400
Chad le Clos (and coach) X2 silver medals – $39,880
Cameron van der Burgh (and coach) – $19,940
Luvo Manyonga (and coach) – $19,940
Sunette Viljoen (and coach) – $19,940
Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain (and coach) – $19,940
Henri Schoeman (and coach) – $11,100
Rugby Sevens (and coach) – $11,100