Prizes to Olympic, Paralympic winners should be unified - Grybauskaitė

Mindaugas Bilius at Paralympics just after winning the golden medal
Foto: R. Navicko/RGB pictures

Prize winners in Olympic and Paralympic games should receive equal prizes in cash in Lithuania, President Dalia Grybauskaitė has said.

"Prizes for achievements in Olympic and Paralympic games should be made equal. The government should do this by way of amending its resolution," Grybauskaitė said in a comment to BNS.

Earlier on Monday, the government announced plans to double the prizes for medalists and winners of the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics.

Prizes for achievements are stipulated in the governmental resolution, which envisages 115,850 euros for Olympic gold, 57,920 euros for Olympic silver and 43,440 euros for Olympic silver, while prizes for Paralympic or Deaflympic gold medal is 17,380 euros, equaling the 5th place in the Olympics.

The latter wave of Lithuania's Paralympic victories in Rio has triggered a public discussion over the immense disproportion between the prizes for Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

Edis Urbanavičius, director of the Sports Department, said that prizes for Paralympic winners can be raised in accordance to the country's potential, adding that achievements in Paralympic games cannot be equaled to Olympic victories.

Lithuania's Supreme Administrative Court in 2010 heard a lawsuit filed by a medalist of the Summer Deaflympic Games against the ruling to refuse her an athletic rent.

The court ruled that the Olympic Games was the most important and the most famous international sports event, carrying special international, sports and historic significance, while the status and scale of Deaflympics is not valued on the same level on the global Olympic movement.

In the Rio Paralympics, Mindaugas Bilius of Lithuania won gold in shot put and silver in discus throw. Lithuania's goalball team also won golden medals in Brazil.

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