Billionaire Gina Rinehart is continuing her mission to hand cash directly to Australia’s top performing athletes.
A new Rinehart program has come to light where Australia’s richest person is palming off $3 million in bonuses to athletes who find themselves on the podium in world events.
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A Rinehart spokesperson calls it “direct athlete support”.
And under the “Olympic bonus program”, an Australian will get $30,000 for a world record, $20,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver medal, $10,000 for a bronze.
Members of relay teams in swimming will also be rewarded with $7,500 for a world record, $5000 for a gold medal, $3750 for a silver, and $2,500 for bronze.
Gina Rinehart with Kyle Chalmers after the recent swimming world championships. Credit: Instagram
Rinehart was recently seen at the swimming world championships in Japan in support of the athletes she funds directly, including swimming stars Kyle Chalmers, Shayna Jack, and Kaylee McKeown
And her mind-boggling level of commitment to Australian sport was revealed earlier this month, when news broke that she was pumping $60 million into various Australian Olympic teams, including swimming, volley ball and rowing.
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Rinehart stepped up her backing of financial support to Australia in the aftermath of the country’s failed campaign in the pool at the 2012 Olympics.
In those Games in London, the Dolphins won only one gold medal, prompting the mining magnate to get involved.
News Corp reported that those mega-bucks were thought to be the largest contribution by a sole benefactor to an Olympic team by anyone in the world.
She targets the athletes directly to make sure those who deserve the cash, get the cash.
According to News Corp, there are now 75 swimmers and 50 rowers who receive annual compensation directly from Rinehart.
It was the first time Chalmers’ mother had watched her son live in a World Championship event. Credit: Instagram
She has also emerged as a key backer in Gold Coast’s bid to salvage the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
But the sporting benefactor will not bankroll the project and instead lean on her existing contacts to support the 2018 host city.
The 2026 event remains on the backburner several weeks after Victoria scrapped plans to host it as a regional event, citing multibillion-dollar cost blowouts.
The Commonwealth Games as a whole were put in even greater doubt when the Canadian province of Alberta also came to a similar conclusion and cancelled its bid for 2030 hosting rights.
“Having seen the joy that athletes and their families experienced when competing in front of a home crowd for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Mrs Rinehart would certainly welcome the 2026 event to again be held in Australia, especially at the Gold Coast, where it was run so successfully before,” her spokesperson told News Corp.
Rinehart’s spokesman also called on the federal government to upgrade Gold Coast’s swimming pool for use at both the 2026 Commonwealth Games and 2032 Olympics.
Swimming Queensland, Volleyball Australia and Artistic Swimming Australia have reportedly joined the latest charge.
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