Several nations have begun announcing recipients of Olympic Solidarity Scholarships headed toward the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The Olympic Solidarity Program provides financial support around the world to athletes, coaches, and National Olympic Committees to support the idea of universality in the Olympic movement. In addition to training scholarships for athletes, the program provides scholarships for coaches, career transition support for retiring athletes, supporting refugee athletes, and development of national sports systems.
The 2021-2024 program, budgeted for the lead-in to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, is $590 million. That is an $81 million increase over the $509 million that were budgeted for the prior quad.
That includes a $33 million increase in direct support to athletes, which comes to $160 million of the budget.
Continental Distribution (budgeted):
- Association of National Olympic Committees – $16 million
- Africa – $51 million
- Americas – $40.1 million
- Asia – $42.2 million
- Europe – $47.8 million
- Oceania – $25 million
Olympic Scholarships for Athletes – Tokyo 2020
- Africa – 392
- Americas – 361
- Asia – 415
- Europe – 571
- Oceania – 96
- Total: 1,835
Team Support Grants by Sport:
- Aquatics – 6
- Baseball/Softball – 13
- Basketball – 53
- Curling – 11
- Football (soccer) – 5
- Handball – 21
- Hockey – 13
- Ice Hockey – 11
- Rugby Sevens – 31
- Volleyball – 44
Aquatics coaches also received 42 Olympic scholarships, 5 awards for the development of national sports systems, and 17 scholarships for technical courses by coaches.
While the money goes primarily to poorer nations in an attempt to grow the global Olympic movement, most of the world’s countries receive some portion of the money via the many programs included in the scheme. The U.S., for example, received $417,000 through a continental program in the last quad.
While the IOC has not yet published a full list of scholarship recipients for the new quad, several national Olympic committees have announced their recipients.
Among those lists are at least four swimmers so far:
Three of the four named swimmers were Tokyo 2020 Olympians. New Zealand’s Zac Reid finished 23rd in the 400 free (3:49.85) and 18th in the 800 free (7:53.06). Papua New Guinea’s Ryan Maskelyne finished 32nd in the 200 breaststroke (2:15.33). Seychells’ Felicity Passon finished 38th in the 100 back (1:04.66) and 26th in the 200 back (2:16.18).
The 17-year old Jehanara Nabi represented Pakistan at the 2021 World Short Course Championships in the women’s 200 free.
Three of the four train outside of their home nations: Nabi trains at UWC Thailand in Phuket, Thailand, Maskelyne trains with the Rackley Swim Team in Australia, and Passon trains at the University of Arizona in the United States. Passon finished 7th in the 200 backstroke at February’s Pac-12 Championship meet.