SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia on Wednesday began to accelerate preparations to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games with the announcement of additional Australian $ 257 million ($ 184 million) in funding for athletes ahead of the Paris 2024 Summer Games.
In an unprecedented move, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) pledged to fund a full four-year Olympic cycle, allowing sports to plan ahead rather than wait for annual allocations.
The funds are in addition to A $ 14.6 million per year in individual grants and an annual government allocation of A $ 82.2 million and would be targeted at specific sports, AIS said in a statement.
“This funding commitment is made possible by the faith and trust the Australian government … has in Australian sport,” said Peter Conde, AIS CEO.
“The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have inspired us all and we have worked with the government to secure longer term funding to move the plan forward and continue to build on this success. “
Women’s rugby sevens, rowing, surfing, skateboarding and paracanoeing are among the sports that will receive additional funding as Australia looks to prepare for the 2032 Summer Games in Brisbane.
Host countries have traditionally invested heavily in elite sport in the years leading up to the Games to ensure a strong performance at home.
Australia has been one of the losers in an increasingly competitive and costly international competition for Olympic medals over the past two decades.
The host nation was fourth in the medal table at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, but fell to 10th place at the Rio 2016 Games. A strong performance in the pool helped them to place sixth in Tokyo earlier this year.
“We are in the midst of an exciting time for Australian sport,” said Josephine Sukkar, Chairman of the Australian Sports Commission.
“Paris is only two and a half years away, and our commitment to longer-term success, the green and gold trail to Brisbane 2032, is also in mind. “
($ 1 = 1.3992 Australian dollar)
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)