The Olympics and the Na­tional Lot­tery

What is the money spent on, and is it worth it?

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - RIO 2016 - Ben Rumsby

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.

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