Olympic success comes at a price
Mon, 13 Aug 2012 7:17a.m.
New Zealand's Olympic success in London has come at a price - $180 million to be precise.
Watch the video to see Firstline's interview with former New Zealand Chef de Mission Bruce Ullrich.
That's the amount of Government money that has been ploughed into high performance sport programmes, including facilities and infrastructure, in the four-year period since Beijing.
It has reaped its reward in London with the 13 medals matching Seoul in 1988 as New Zealand's most successful in terms of overall medals.
Next year the Government will hand over $60 million to fund high performance sport.
Not all of the money goes to Olympic sports, but of those in London rowing, which scooped three gold and two bronze medals on the Eton Dorney course represents the best value for money.
With $19.181m pumped into rowing's high performance programme between 2009-2012, including monetary support to athletes, each Olympic medal has come at a cost $3.832m.
Medals don't come cheap.
Athletics received $7.269m in the same period and only had shot putter Valerie Adams' silver medal to show for it.
The cycling team's three medals cost $6.110m each and the gold and silver earned by the next most successful sport - yachting - came at a cost of $5.650m.
Other sports which attract sizeable funding - swimming, hockey and triathlon - leave London without anything to show for it.
Alex Baumann, the former Canadian Olympic double gold medal-winning swimmer in charge of High Performance Sport New Zealand, told media in London that Olympic performance would play a role in determining how much funding they are allocated but it was not the be-all and end-all.
Sporting organisations need to present their high performance plans to HPSNZ in November and Baumann said other than results, the sport's athletes, coaches and structure were also considered.
"If we do not see potential in a sport they may not get funding," he said.
HPSNZ allocated around 70 percent of its funding to nine sports targeting Olympic medal and world champions success.
Six are Olympic disciplines - athletics, cycling, rowing, yachting, swimming and triathlon - and the three other targeted sport
HPSNZ funding for targeted Olympic sports 2009-2012:
Sport Funding Medals $ per medal
Rowing $19.181m 5 $3.832m
Cycling $18.332m 3 $6.110m
Sailing $11.299m 2 $5.650m
Athletics $7.269m 1 $7.269m
Canoeing $4.308m 1 $4.308m
Equestrian $4.241m 1 $4.241m
Swimming $7.476m 0 n/a
Hockey $7.145m 0 n/a
Triathlon $6.932m 0 n/a
Football $1.572m 0 n/a
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26/08/2012 9:38:49 p.m.
I must agree with you Carlos - it would be great to see alot more people benefit from $180m especially if was injected into health ie The cancer society which recieves no direct funding from the government and this affects so many New Zealanders
14/08/2012 8:42:16 p.m.
Receive a state Welfare payment or become an athlete? what's the diff? they are all need the opportunity to stand up and be counted. I think the Brits won on the National Pride and Identity stakes anyway. Save the Health expenses..become an athelete!
14/08/2012 8:46:10 a.m.
That money should be spent on health, not this crap !
13/08/2012 11:24:40 p.m.
Olympic fever wrote:
Despite limited athletic glory and no swimming medals - those sports (as well as football) are in a different category to the likes of rowing. Rowing is does not have the same participation numbers world wide. So cut the other sports some slack and take a fair approach.
13/08/2012 11:09:27 p.m.
It is nice to see Kiwis achieving at Olympics but do we need to spend that much? I mean there are some other important issues domestically and I'm not too sure if sporting achievement at International stage should get the priority. Don't get me wrong. Good to see Kiwis. I just wondered about the order of importance. I also would like to question about selection of sports. How many people think Men's softball should get funding? They are 2nd in the world and they were in the final in the last 7 World Champs (4 of them won). Way better record than those sports listed above
13/08/2012 10:23:41 p.m.
Umm, assume someone has already done the math but that's about $11 each per year over 4 years...nothing...I think we've got a lot to show for it...& with any luck a whole lot of healthy inspired kids. Live on the good side of life. Information can be cut however you want...
13/08/2012 6:54:56 p.m.
May I be excused for asking just what percentage (or cents in the dollar) of funding actually reached the athletes as opposed to expenditure in the form of funding commission, and application and administration cost overheads. Is there any room in the next four years to amalgamate Olympic disciplines under one NZ Olympic administrative body so as to minimize such operational overhead. For example if the overhead was as high as 30% and can be reduced to 15% then that is a saving of $27 million or an extra $27 million for the athletes. In addition why can NZ Government funding not be represented by placement of export logo advertising on uniforms like Export NZ, Beef + Lamb NZ Lamb or Tourism NZ, as a means of gaining the taxpayer some value for money?
13/08/2012 4:34:48 p.m.
Great, so now we know, big deal, I think it was a spectacular success. If you want to extrapolate at all, look at the money spent on re-constructing a patch of sand in the middle east, and there won't be any guarantees as to the long term success of that little venture. All for the sake of oil and it's bastard consorts.
13/08/2012 4:27:24 p.m.
Best value for money to advertise our country and people on a international scale. To inspire our kids and people positively and to be able to show unity of pride as one - best value for money.I will write one thing though - I was over for the games and it was only our press and T.V channels that gave the best "equal" balance in regards to interviewing a varitry of athletes and even spectators - well done but I think it would be wise to possibly negoiate with all other press and T.V channels prior to the next games to form a unity of agreeance to broadly cover more athletes and spectators from other countries rather than their own - I have to say the British press and T.V stations were very biased towards only their own athletes and actual coverage with commentry. In writing that though the British were extreamly welcoming and enjoyable to be around, public transport and the volenteers were fantastic. It was a great atmosphere to be within and well done to all our athletes, along with the other international athletes who represented their countries extreamly well - medal or no medal.
13/08/2012 4:01:51 p.m.
Compare the 180 mil spent on sport that acheived some national pride and national identity.Now compare it to billions spent on welfare. What return did we see from welfare? Did we see any return in medals, national pride, or national identity?Which was the bigger waste then? Spending on sport that achieved something for NZ, or spending on welfare which had hundreds of thousands moaning?I know which I would prefer my taxpayers dollars spent on, and its not on moaners.Above is not the whole story. Also relevant is how the sports did on the world level. Eg womans hockey getting 4th in the world and so close to a gold/silver final. Compare that to our All Blacks with many times the funding. As a world sport, womans hockey probably has more countries playing than rugby. We have many world champions who didnt win medals, and that too achieved national pride and identity. Even those who haven't won at the very top, by achieving at world level have done this too.Well done to all our sports people.
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