Today is a historic day. Amid family separations at the border and political tensions in the county, sports has once again claimed its catalyst role. United States Olympic Committee has unanimously voted to change its name to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, aka USOPC.
It is the first country ever that brought the normally separate committees together which shows the U.S's leadership in this arena. Lots of Olympians and Paralympians went online to celebrate the news and share their thoughts. There were a lot of emotions and a lot of excitement.
“This is a proud day for Paralympic and Olympic sport in the United States and a change that is representative of our organization’s commitment to inclusivity,” said USOPC Chair Susanne Lyons. “While the name is new, our dedication to Paralympics is an established value – evidenced by the number of Paralympic athletes who receive support and by the strength of the U.S. Paralympic Team. The world-class Paralympic athletes – and staff who support them – deserve this recognition as outstanding representatives of Team USA.”
As part of the USOPC’s ongoing effort to grow the Paralympic Movement and support for Paralympic athletes, on Sept. 21, 2018, the board voted to increase monetary awards for medal-earning U.S. Paralympic athletes to equate to U.S. Olympic athletes. The U.S. Paralympians monetary awards were increased by as much as 400 percent. U.S. Paralympians who earned a medal at the PyeongChang 2018 Games received retroactive payments for their performances and the award parity will be reflected in every Games moving forward.
Unfortunately, rectroactive payments are not applicable to 2016 Rio Paralympians where the U.S athletes and teams dominated in most sports competitions. One thing I recently found out about from a Paralympic Gold Medalist is that the U.S. Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team who won a Gold Medal only received $3,000 vs. over $40,000 their Olympic Counterparts make. Both Men's and Women's Wheelchair Basketball Teams will be going to Tokyo with big goals to win the gold medal. And I know that's not just for the money but for the pride that they will carry for the rest of their lives.
Congratulations to Olympians and Paralympians, USOPC sounds beautiful to ears!
Original Source: Team USA News