Published on March 14th, 2018 | by mpower0
Paralympic Medal Payout Disparity: Link20 Campaign
This video was accompanied by this letter to the Board of the USOC calling for action on this issue.
Dear Mr. Probst,
We are members of Link20 – a global social movement of young activists, with and without
disabilities, that promotes inclusion and advancement of people with disabilities. We are writing
to bring to your attention a discriminatory policy implemented by the USOC, whereby Paralympic
athletes earn one-fifth of the medal payout awarded to their Olympic peers.
We believe that the medal payout policy sends a disturbing message to our Paralympic athletes,
and the rest of the world, that some athletes are inferior to others merely because they happen to
have a disability. Such a message is especially hurtful given the United States Olympic
Committee’s acknowledgement that Olympic and Paralympic athletes work equally hard to excel
in their pursuits. Furthermore, the harmful effect of this policy is not localized to Olympic and
Paralympic Games – given the importance, visibility, and popularity of The Games, this
discriminatory policy helps institutionalize and perpetuate income and wealth inequality among
athletes, and between people with and without disabilities.
We believe a message of equality, reflected in equal payouts for both Olympic and Paralympic
athletes who win medals, is far more fitting with the ideals of the Olympic movement. We urge
you to act promptly and decisively to address this disparity, and we welcome the opportunity to
start a conversation with the USOC regarding the current situation and potential solutions. We
look forward to hearing from you.
Members of Link 20