Controversial mining magnate Gina Rinehart’s mind-boggling level of commitment to Australian sport has been revealed.
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.
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In those Games in London, the Dolphins won only one gold medal, prompting Rinehart to get involved.
Now it has been revealed that Rinehart has pumped $60 million into various Australian Olympic teams, including swimming, volley ball and rowing.
News Corp reports that those mega-bucks are thought to be the largest contribution by a sole benefactor to an Olympic team by anyone in the world.
Gina Rinehart is seen with Ariarne Titmus and members of the Australian swimming team. Credit: Instagram
Not only that, Rinehart targets the athletes to make sure those who need the cash, get the cash.
The revelation comes after last year’s massive furore in October between Netball Australia and Rinehart, when Rinehart pulled her $15m sponsorship deal with the cash-strapped organisation.
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Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting made the call after players revealed they were reluctant to embrace the mining giant’s backing and wear its branding on their playing dresses.
The uproar started when Indigenous player Donnell Wallam had voiced concerns over racist comments made by the company’s founder, and Rinehart’s father, Lang Hancock.
The players’ questioning of Hancock Prospecting’s ideals relating to climate change further made them uncomfortable with the association. Rinehart also had ties to Netball WA.
According to News Corp, there are now 75 swimmers and 50 rowers who receive annual compensation directly from Rinehart.
Rinehart was recently in Japan watching Australia’s successful swimming campaign in the World Aquatic Championships.
Rinehart celebrates the gold medal booty with Aussie champ Kyle Chalmers. Credit: Instagram
“A huge and warm congratulations to all our Aussie swimmers for their fantastic efforts in Fukuoka, representing Australia proudly and shining on the world stage,” she said after the event, where the Aussies won more gold medals than any other country.
“I’m told this is Australia’s best ever international swimming performance. It’s very exciting to be here with these young role models and patriotic ambassadors.”
After the tournament, Australian swimming ace Kyle Chalmers posted a picture of Rinehart and his mother watching from the stands.
Chalmers won three gold medals, in the men’s 100m freestyle, men’s 4x100m freestyle, and mixed 4x100m freestyle, the latter clocking a world record time.
“My fourth World Championships was extra special,” Chalmers wrote.
“I got to share my special moments with my Mum and Mrs Rinehart. The first time my Mum has seen me race live at a World Championships…! These are memories that I will cherish for a lifetime 🤍.”
It was the first time Chalmers’ mother had watched her son live in a World Championship event. Credit: Instagram
Australian swimmer Shayna Jack called Rinehart a “generous and supportive person” and thanked her for her support.
“More athletes would retire well and truly before their 30’s if it wasn’t for Ms Rinehart’s generosity. Not only does she support us financially but she shows up,” Jack said.
– With Digital Staff
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