Singapore’s swimmer awarded $1 Million for winning Singapore’s first Olympic gold

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SINGAPORE: Butterfly specialist Joseph Schooling, who clinched his first Olympic Gold medal at the 100m butterfly event on Saturday morning (Aug 13), can look forward to prize money of S$1 million.

To reward medal-winning athletes, an incentive scheme was devised by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) in the 1990s. The Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme (MAP) provides a cash payout to athletes who win medals at the Olympics, Asian, Commonwealth and SEA Games.

Schooling, 21, clocked 50.39s in his pet event to beat the likes of American great Michael Phelps and South Africa’s Chad le Clos.

In a report by American television network CBS, “student-athletes are not allowed to be paid”, under National Collegiate Athletic Association rules. As a Singaporean, however, Schooling is exempted.

Said the SNOC: “For competitive athletes, the cost of training at elite level requires an enormous financial investment over many years. Of all athletes who dream of winning an Olympic medal, only a small percentage will find themselves on the podium at the Games.”

According to the SNOC, athletes will be entitled to awards up to a maximum of three individual gold medals won at the SEA Games, up to two individual gold medals won at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, and the first individual gold medal won at the Olympic Games.

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The SNOC also noted that it is mandatory for all athletes to plough back a certain percentage of the MAP awards to their National Sports Association for future training and development. All awards are also taxable, it added.

The Tote Board/Singapore Pools is the primary sponsor of the SNOC MAP awards.

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