HK$6 million for Tokyo gold? Hong Kong athletes likely to receive incentive boost for 2020 Olympics
Henderson Land is expected to offer the same dollar-for-dollar payout for the Olympics as they did for the Asian Games
A mouth-watering HK$6 million cash incentive could be on offer to any Hong Kong athlete who wins a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with a possible HK$8.4 million for the winners of a team sport.
Henderson Land, sponsors for the Commendation Scheme for Elite Athletes, indicated it was likely to extend its incentive support to the next Olympics in two years.
“We are very interested in supporting the athletes for the Tokyo Olympics,” said Martin Lee Ka-shing, vice-chairman of Henderson Land Group, when presenting cash awards for medal winners at the 2018 Indonesia Asian Games on Friday. “We will discuss with the Sports Institute an arrangement similar to the one that was in place for the Asian Games.”
At the presentation at the Sports Institute in Fo Tan, the property developer joined the Jockey Club Charities Trust to reward all the 107 medallists who won eight gold, 18 silver and 20 bronze medals in Indonesia.
Under the existing Jockey Club Charities incentive scheme, an individual gold medallist receives
HK$400,000 and Henderson Land matches the amount to make it HK$800,000 in total. A team gold is worth HK$1.6 million.
Cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze received HK$1.6 million for the sprint and keirin golds she won at the Games.
The incentive scheme for Tokyo Games is HK$3 million for an individual gold medal and it would become HK$6 million if the sponsor commits to the same dollar-for-dollar arrangement.
Chairman of the Sports Institute Lam Tai-fai was upbeat about additional incentives for the Tokyo Olympic medal winners.
“We are not going to talk about the amount at this moment but I think we have a good chance of securing a deal with the sponsor to provide athletes extra incentives,” he said.
A source at the institute said it was likely the same arrangement in place for the Asian Games would apply to the Tokyo Olympics.
“The Olympics is far more important than the Asian Games and it will be a good opportunity for the sponsor to give something back to the community,” he said. “If they have sponsored the Asian Games, there is no way they are not going to do the same for the Olympics.”
Henderson Land and the Jockey Club each paid out HK$13.2 million for the 2018 Asian Games medallists.
Sarah Lee, who pocketed almost HK$2 million with also the silver medal she won in the women’s team sprint, welcomed the prospect of bigger rewards. “It means more recognition for the athletes and hopefully the big amount will not become an added pressure for us at the Tokyo Games,” she said.
Cycling was the biggest winner at the award presentation. Their three gold, four silver and one bronze medals gave them a total HK$6.2 million, while squash players collected HK$3.6 million for their two gold and two silver medals. Fencing received HK$2.8 million for their two silver and six bronze medals.