Olympia 2024: Is it normal for France to help Ukrainian athletes financially?

Olympia 2024: Is it normal for France to help Ukrainian athletes financially?

France plans to release EUR 1 million in specific aid to Ukrainian athletes for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. An announcement by Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, who is at the center of the controversy today.

A few days ago, the Minister of Sport announced that he would support and help Ukrainian athletes to prepare for the Games: “ My Ministry will release a specific aid of one million euros to enable the Ukrainian delegation that will be traveling to these Olympic and Paralympic Games to have the best possible preparation. ».

“A duty for our country”

The sports minister justified this decision by saying that she wanted “Ukraine can be embodied in the most beautiful way‘, but also because it would be a duty of France towards Ukraine. This support would take the form of “preparatory courses”, which will provide Ukrainian athletes with good training conditions. In addition, this aid would also finance “preparation centers“Games. From the point of view of Amélie Oudéa-Castéra ” Helping them is a duty of our country, which will receive them in just under 18 months. This subsidy is not included in the initial budget foreseen for French athletes, but corresponds to an additional amount for the budget of the Ministry of Sport. She recalls that every year she invests more than 200 million euros in excellence to help French federations and athletes prepare for the Games.

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French international athletes at odds

For French international athletes, this is a surprising help. The question that arises would be: Why did you decide to sponsor Ukrainian athletes and not the French? For some time, French international athletes have been in financial difficulties. Ayodélé Ikuesan, European runner-up in the 4×100 relay in 2014 and deputy mayor of the 18th arrondissement of Paris: “ If we have the means, why not give them? We see athletes making pots struggling to get their help. On the other hand, if such aids can be released, it is because there is an opportunity for French athletes. Athletes have no problem helping Ukraine, on the contrary, they show some support. However, they remain confused about financial aid while in trouble themselves. They want to separate the sporting issue from politics. French athletes then complained about increasing training difficulties in good conditions. The criteria for allocating aid are extremely demanding and lead athletes to find themselves in financially precarious situations.

… Section Maelys BERTHOUT