Gold, silver and bronze are not cheap!
Standard Indonesian practice is for medal winners and their coaches to be rewarded with a financial incentive. The idea is that the possibility of a cash payment at the end will encourage athletes to do even better. The sums of money are significant by Indonesian standards. Interestingly, the government used to pay a different incentive for teams sports however this policy was changed in the lead up to the Guangzhou Asian Games. Now, every member of a team sport is entitled to receive the same payment as individual medal winners. So, a member of a dragon boat team who wins a medal will get the same payment as, say, an archer.
Traditionally, the government has always been "big" in offering to pay incentives but have tended to take their time in paying out those incentives once the athletes arrived home. Yet, the government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs has guaranteed that payments will be made this week. Good!
Indonesians won four gold medals in Guangzhou. Three of these were won by the men's dragon boat racing squad and one was won by the men's badminton doubles team. Each of these individuals will receive IDR 400 million. So, in the case of the dragon boat squad each of them will receive IDR 400 million for each of their gold medals for a total of IDR 1.2 billion. The women's dragon boat squad also achieved beyond expectations to finish with three silver medals. This means that each member of the women's team will receive IDR 600 million for their efforts.
The government also appreciates the efforts of coaches. Coaches of gold medal winners will receive IDR 100 million, silver medal winners will receive IDR 50 million,and bronze medal winners will receive IDR 25 million.
It is going to be interesting to see whether the change in incentive policy that rewards members of teams the same as individuals gives rise to any other changes before the next round of sports performance incentives are offered. The government clearly was not expecting the dragon boat racers to do quite as well as they did, and were not expecting to be forking out quite as much as they will be for the excellent efforts of Indonesian athletes at the Asian Games in Guangzhou.