Sports TravelMedals, cash and travel perks: Tokyo medal winners can look forward to a golden future.

Winners are grinners as Olympians reap the rewards

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Olympic medallists in Asia are showered with free flights, new jobs, new cars, and cash.
Olympic medallists in Asia are showered with free flights, new jobs, new cars, and cash. Photo Credit: International Olympic Committee

Lifetime free flights, new jobs, new cars, and fistfuls of dollars are among rewards for athletes who sprinted back from Tokyo with Olympic medals around their necks.

Taking top spot on the podium for prizes was Filipino golden girl, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who was awarded lifetime free flights by AirAsia. The Philippines government and private individuals chipped in almost 40 million pesos (US$800,000) along with a condominium valued at 14 million pesos, land, and a 13-seater family van.

Medal reveal

Not everything that glitters is pure gold: The Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medals contain more than six grams of gold plating on pure silver. Silver medals are pure silver while bronze medals are 95% copper and 5% zinc.

Little wonder the Philippines is happy with Hidilyn, the daughter of a tricycle driver. Her achievement ended the Philippines' Olympic gold medal drought, which stretches back to when the country first competed in the Games around 100 years ago.

In Thailand, Panipak Wongpattanakit, who became the kingdom's first Olympic gold medallist in taekwondo, has been appointed a sports and tourism ambassador by the government.

Panipak is also due to receive nearly 20 million baht (US$604,000) in total from the government and other sources.

India's first gold medal Olympic champion for 12 years, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, has been offered free flights for an entire year by low-cost carrier Indigo. This comes off top of a new government job offer, a new car and a large stash of cash.

Singapore gifts gold medallists one million Singapore dollars (US$740,000) but kept the money in the bank this year. Swimmer Joseph Schooling won the men's 100-metre butterfly at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, claiming Singapore's first-ever gold medal, but he missed out in Tokyo after failing to defend his title.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Youth and Sports offers a reward of almost US$350,000 for a gold medal, and two athletes — the badminton team of Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu – delivered in Tokyo. The pair will also enjoy a monthly allowance of about US$1,400 for the rest of their lives.

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