Money Smart Athlete Blog

June 2024: The Financial Struggles of Paralympic Athletes

It is ironic that, nowadays, there is so much talk about diversity and inclusion in the international corporate world but when it comes to Paralympic athletes, unfortunately, it remains just talk! Paralympic athletes usually receive a glimpse of the spotlight every four years, during the Paralympic games.  Within a couple of months after the end of the Paralympic games, the dust seems to settle and so does the attention on Paralympic athletes.  It is very unfortunate that disability sport receives attention and awareness only every four years, which is typically followed by a frustrating lack of interest soon after the games are over.

The struggles of Paralympic athletes are many but out of all the athletes, they are the ones facing the worst financial challenges.  The causes behind these financial challenges are many:  prize money is much less than that received by Olympic athletes, there is lack of enough competitive opportunities, there is a huge disparity in government funding of Olympic and Paralympic programs, there are scarce sponsorship opportunities emanating from lack of exposure, there are high medical costs to be covered, and the list goes on….

This month, the Money Smart Athlete team explores the financial struggles of Paralympic athletes, hoping to raise awareness and an interest to do more to support them in their journey.  We believe that it is time that all stakeholders, including governments, the sports world, charities, as well as the corporate world, start practically showing their support to these modern-day ‘heroes’.  By equalizing the financial and commercial opportunities afforded to Paralympic athletes, we can ease their heavy financial burden and give them the opportunity to devote themselves into becoming Professional Paralympic Athletes.

Athena P. Constantinou

E-mail: [email protected]