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Athletes supported by Olympic Solidarity offer a behind-the-scenes look at their journey to Paris 2024

30 May 2024 – Following in the footsteps of Olympic Solidarity scholarship-holders who became Olympic stars, such as Usain BoltYulimar RojasChad LeClos and Flora Duffy, a total of over 1,300 athletes from around the world are currently being supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on their road to the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Over the next few weeks, 10 of these athletes will share their unique stories with us, offering an exclusive, behind-the-scenes insight into what it takes to reach the Olympic Games.

Athletes from 159 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), competing in 26 sports, receive monthly grants through the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity scholarship programme, helping to cover costs related to training, travel and participation in qualification events. With a particular focus on athletes and NOCs with the greatest needs, the Olympic Solidarity scholarships ensure that athletes from all backgrounds have a chance of competing on the world’s biggest stage, thus ensuring true universality and diversity at the Olympic Games.

Bringing their journey to life

Ten Olympic Solidarity scholarship-holders, one woman and one man from each continent, will be sharing their journey as they aim for qualification and prepare for Paris 2024, giving sneak peeks into their daily routines, struggles and successes during training and competition.

Discover the athletes:

  • Hugues Fabrice Zango (Athletics, Burkina Faso)
  • Akoko Komlanvi (Rowing, Togo)
  • Martín Vidaurre (Cycling, Chile)
  • Sada Williams (Athletics, Barbados)
  • Arshad Nadeem (Athletics, Pakistan)
  • Julyana Al-Sadeq (Taekwondo, Jordan)
  • Sandro Bazadze (Fencing, Georgia)
  • Guðlaug Edda Hannesdóttir (Triathlon, Iceland)
  • Sophia Morgan (Sailing, Fiji)
  • Tasi Limtiaco (Swimming, Micronesia)

Olympic Solidarity scholarship-holders who became Olympic stars

Success for scholarship-holders at Tokyo 2020

For the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Olympic Solidarity invested a total of USD 47 million in the scholarship programme, enabling 1,836 athletes from 186 NOCs to train towards their dream of competing at the Olympic Games.

Nearly half (45 per cent) of the scholarship-holders successfully qualified for the Games. These athletes went on to win 30 gold, 36 silver and 47 bronze medals in Tokyo.

Among the highlights were scholarship-holder Yulimar Rojas becoming Venezuela’s first female Olympic champion and setting a new world record to win the women’s triple jump.

I” can’t value enough what I achieved. There are a lot of people who are around me and were a part of the achievement. I feel I was born with a natural talent and an ability to achieve great things. Paving the way for others to follow me, and for those who want to achieve big things, is amazing.”

Yulimar Rojas – Venezuela

Three NOCs also won their first-ever Olympic medals through athletes supported by the programme:

  • Triathlete Flora Duffy won Bermuda’s first gold medal;
  • Turkmenistan’s Polina Guryeva won silver in women’s weightlifting; and
  • San Marino’s Alessandra Perilli won silver and bronze in women’s trap shooting.

Crucial support system for athletes

The aim of Olympic Solidarity is to provide assistance to all NOCs for athlete development programmes, particularly those with the greatest need. This assistance is achieved through multi-faceted programmes prioritising athlete development, but also training coaches and sports administrators, and promoting the Olympic values.

Reflecting the mission behind Olympic Solidarity to ensure that all athletes with talent have an equal chance of reaching the Games, individual Olympic Solidarity scholarships have been awarded directly to athletes since 2000. As part of the Olympic Solidarity plan developed ahead of the Paris 2024 cycle for 2021-2024, this type of scholarship is now reserved for athletes from smaller NOCs.

NOCs that had more than 50 athletes competing in individual sports at Tokyo 2020 can opt for a tailor-made programme. This allows each NOC to use a fixed budget (up to USD 150,000) for their athlete preparation for the Olympic Games in a flexible way.

Olympic Solidarity’s total development and assistance budget for the 2021-2024 plan is USD 590 million. This amount corresponds to the share of the broadcast rights from recent Olympic Games that the IOC redistributes to the NOCs, and represents a 16 per cent increase from the 2017-2020 period.

Olympic Solidarity redistributes these funds to all NOCs recognised by the IOC through various programmes aimed at developing and promoting sport worldwide, and encouraging athletes’ participation in the Olympic Games.

The full list of Paris 2024 Olympic Solidarity scholarship-holders can be found here.


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