According to an official, the government of the Philippines and some private donors are offering any Olympic athlete that wins a Gold medal for the Philippines in the upcoming Olympics $220,000 dollars. The Philippines is seeking its first Gold Medal in over 80 years and has thus created this incentive for its Olympic athletes. The country has not won an Olympic gold since its first appearance in the games: at Paris in 1924. The most recent medal of any color was silver in boxing at the Atlanta games in 1996.
The government has pledged $116,000 and the rest will come from donations from the private sector, said Philippine Olympic Committee spokesman Joey Romasanta this past Friday. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported other donors include tycoon Lucio Tan and Microsoft Philippines Inc. and boxer Manny Pacquiao, who in June won the WBC lightweight title.
Many other countries offer their athletes incentives like this for winning medals. Usually it is only in a specific sport, such as basketball (Russia) or baseball (Cuba). This is an abnormally large amount of money to pledge to any winning athlete, especially one who resides in the Philippines. I would not be surprised to see someone persevere and take home a gold for the Philippines because of the offer.
The Olympics will begin August 8th with the opening ceremonies for all nations. Manny Pacquiao will lead the Philippine team out on the track in Beijing this August.