According to the gender advocacy group AWARE, Singapore’s Paralympians should have the same monetary incentives for their successes on par with that of an Olympian. For quite some time, they have raised the point that these Paralympians need to get the same rewards and recognition as their Olympic counterparts.
Today, we will be looking at the latest news in Singapore about Yip Pin Xiu and the debate in which concerns athletes of different kinds.
Is it fair to ask?
In a public statement that AWARE and the DPA Singapore or the Disabled People’s Association made in their recent Facebook post, the 29-year-old Paralympic swimmer was congratulated for winning two gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympics. Yip Pin Xiu took home the 50m and 100m backstroke swimming events with flying colors.
Of course, AWARE also gave praise to the other Singapore Paralympians who shared the same hardship and for representing the country as a whole. In their statement, it was stressed that all of their achievements and hard work are just as impressive and are “no less remarkable” next to Fen Tianwei and Joseph Schooling, Singapore’s Olympians.
They also pointed out that for winning such a prestigious place, let alone a gold medal, any Singaporean Paralympian only receives $200,000 which is nowhere near as good as Schooling’s $1,000,000 prize for winning the Olympics back in 2016. That’s a mere 20 percent of the prize money received a few years ago!
In case you’re having a hard time catching up with the Singapore news, Joseph Schooling has won a gold medal in the 2016 Olympics while Feng Tianwei won two bronze medals and a silver medal in the 2012 Olympics and 2008 Olympics, respectively.
This isn’t the first time
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time that the Paralympian prize money disparity was brought to everyone’s attention. In 2016, the Singapore National Olympic Council themselves had made it clear that the difference in cash prize was due to the fact that the two have different donors.
The council added that the Olympics has a better donor awareness than that of the Paralympics because the prize comes from the Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme (now called the Major Games Awards Programme). Meanwhile, the Athletes’ Achievement Award is the one responsible for the Paralympians.
So far, AWARE is one of the many groups that strongly believe how this should all be addressed by the higher authorities. For them, Ms. Yip has made a consistent performance in giving her best to make the nation proud despite her disability. For a female Paralympian, she has definitely become a face that will truly inspire people of different gender and disabilities.
Statistics show that a huge chunk of women with disabilities never participated in any sport. In fact, there’s up to 93% of them that do not consider joining one. That’s just one of the main reasons why there are a smaller number of women athletes with disabilities in any international sports competition.
What can be done
AWARE’s public statement also highlighted the fact that even other countries have already addressed this concern. They cited that countries like Malaysia have made efforts to bridge this gap and ensured that both their Olympians and Paralympians will receive the same rewards and recognition that they all deserve.
They also talked about how the United States has also stepped in to ensure that their Paralympians who won gold medals will be getting the same treatment and, of course, the same cash prize as their Olympian counterparts. And very recently, Australia also made the same move to address such disparity.
For AWARE, it is very important that the nation’s Paralympians must be honored with the same recognition that we treat Olympians. They are all brave beings that represent the country with pride. Their main goal is to raise awareness and ensure that people with disabilities like Yip Pin Xiu are never refused the honor they truly deserve.