Olympic Solidarity gives a boost to Vancouver hopefuls
The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games are less than three months away, and, at the moment, many of the world’s top winter sport athletes are giving their best at their qualifying events. For the first time in the history of Olympic Winter Games, some of the Vancouver hopefuls are recipients of individual scholarships from Olympic Solidarity to help cover their travel, training and coaching costs during the preparation and qualification process.
It is all about improving the competitiveness of the Olympic Winter Games, rather than artificially getting as many countries as possible involved. As such, the new programme targets athletes who have a proven winter sports record and who have taken part in international competitions.
In total, 325 athletes from 60 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are benefitting from this customised support scheme which, since its launch in November 2008, has been aiming to become as successful as it has already been at the summer Olympic Games. “Thanks to this programme, I was able to complete my rehabilitation after a difficult season”, said Darya Domracheva, a Belarussian biathlete and World Junior Champion in 2005. She added: “It helps young athletes to prepare without financial problems making things difficult.” Another athlete who currently benefits from a scholarship is Argentinean speed skater José Ignacio Fazio. “Thanks to my Olympic Solidarity scholarship, I can work with a professional coach, a doctor and a physiotherapist”, he says.
Find out more about Darya, José and many more Vancouver hopefuls in the coming weeks on www.olympic.org.
About Olympic Solidarity
Olympic Solidarity is an IOC organisation and the body that ensures that athletes with talent, regardless of their financial status, have an even chance of reaching the Olympic Games and succeeding in the Olympic arena. It is responsible for administering and managing the National Olympic Committees’ (NOCs) share of the revenue from the sale of broadcasting rights to the Olympic Games. Working in particular with the most needy NOCs and their Continental Associations, Olympic Solidarity uses this money to develop a range of assistance programmes. There are also “Team Support Grants” for ice hockey and curling teams likely to qualify for the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.
The total budget for the 2009-2012 Olympic Solidarity quadrennial amounts to USD 311,000,000. Within this budget, the amount of USD 61,000,000 is earmarked to provide support to athletes.