The Olympics and the National Lottery
What is the money spent on, and is it worth it?
Q Why do British Olympians get National Lottery money?
A Public funding is the only way for all but the most welloff British Olympians and Paralympians to train and compete full-time. It was well established before the lottery, money from which was earmarked to support elite performers upon the formation 19 years ago of UK Sport.
Q How much do athletes get?
A The current UK Sport budget is £543 million over four years, £387m of which goes into what is called World Class Performance. Athletes are paid between £23,000 and £65,000 a year.
Q Where does the rest of the money
On world-class coaches, facilities, equipment and sports science and medicine, competition expenses and development and talent identification programmes. The latest, #DiscoverYour Gold, is the largest in British history.
Q How successful has lottery funding been?
A Spectacularly. Prior to lottery funding, Britain brought home one gold medal from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. At London 2012, they won 29. At Rio 2016 they should record their best ever away Games.
Q Are there any drawbacks?
A There has been some criticism about using money from the lottery, which some regard as a tax on the poor, to support a nonessential pursuit like Olympic medal success. The counterargument is that medals have an inspirational impact.