Billionaire Harry Triguboff pledges $645k to Australia’s Olympic medallists

Jasper BruceNCA NewsWire
Triguboff has a history of sports patronage, having sponsored the Tigers for over 20 years. Photo: James Horan
Camera IconTriguboff has a history of sports patronage, having sponsored the Tigers for over 20 years. Photo: James Horan Credit: Supplied

Australian business mogul Harry Triguboff will donate a total of $645,000 to Australia’s Olympic medallists.

On Thursday, Triguboff, best known as the founder and managing director of Meriton, announced he would pay Australian athletes $5,000 for each medal they won at the Tokyo Games.

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Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates thanked Triguboff for his unsolicited donation.

“Harry is hugely proud of what our Team achieved in Tokyo, and for him to say thank you in this way is hugely generous and most unexpected,” said Coates.

“The donation is per medal, so for those Olympians whose efforts were rewarded with multiple medals, it will make coming home to family and friends all the sweeter.

“On behalf of the AOC, and in particular our 99 medals winners, we say thank you, Harry.”

Triguboff said the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the boost in morale provided by the Olympics were the inspirations for his donation.

“We are always successful at the Olympic Games. However, this time it was especially important because we are close to recession and many people have been impacted by the virus,” he said.

“The medallists in Tokyo made us all very happy and we were glued to the television and were only thinking of our athletes during this difficult time.”

Emma McKeon With Harry Triguboff
Camera IconEmma McKeon (L) is set for a $35,000 payday. Sam Ruttyn Credit: News Corp Australia

Emma McKeon is set for the biggest payday of any Australian athlete. In Tokyo, the champion swimmer became just the second woman in history to win seven Olympic medals at the one games. The seven-medal haul made her the most decorated Olympic athlete in Australian history and will also bolster her bank balance by $35,000.

McKeon’s fellow swimmers Ariarne Titmus and Kaylee McKeown both won four medals in Tokyo so are set to each net a cool $20,000, as well.

On top of Triguboff’s donation, the AOC already pays gold medallists a $20,000 bonus, while those who win silver and bronze receive $15,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Triguboff has a history of sports patronage, having sponsored the Tigers for over 20 years. Photo: James Horan
Camera IconTriguboff has a history of sports patronage, having sponsored the Tigers for over 20 years. Photo: James Horan Credit: Supplied

On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his government would fund medal bonuses for Australia’s Paralympians.

Prior to Mr Morrison’s announcement, the Paralympic athletes did not receive any monetary bonuses for winning medals.

Speaking before the House of Representatives, Mr Morrison said the move recognised the “national significance of the Paralympic team”.

“(Australia’s Paralympians) have shown discipline, focus, determination, dogged persistence, a great sense of humour, a great sense of the Australian spirit,” Mr Morrison said.

“We have witnessed the essence of what sport is all about: being the best you possibly can be.”

Originally published as Billionaire Harry Triguboff pledges $645k to Australia’s Olympic medallists

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