Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 11:40 UK

Cash boost for China medallists

Chinese Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Chen Yibing
China spends about $117m each year on sports

Chinese athletes who won gold medals at this summer's Beijing Olympics are to be paid about $51,000 each (28,000), according to Chinese state media.

The payouts are an increase on the $29,000 (16,000) that China paid its gold medallists after the 2004 Games.

China came top of the medals table at this year's Games, winning 100 medals in 25 sports, including 51 golds.

China spends about $117m (63.5m) each year on sports, according to China's sports chief, Liu Peng.

Cash rewards

China is not alone in giving its athletes cash prizes for winning medals at the Olympic Games.

The United States also pays money to medal-winning Olympians.

At the 2006 Winter Games, US athletes were paid $25,000 (13,600) for winning gold medals, $15,000 (8,100) for silver and $10,000 (5,400) for bronze.

Canadian athletes are also being paid cash rewards for medals won at the Beijing games.

It is the first time Canada has made such awards to its athletes.

They will be paid about $19,000 (10,000) for each gold medal, $14,000 (8,000) for each silver, and $9,000 (5,000) for each bronze medal they won.


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