Canadian Paralympic athletes will receive financial recognition for podium performances

Canadian Paralympic Committee

January 23, 2024

Performance recognition program to reward Paralympic medallists starting at Paris 2024

A compilation image of athletes wearing medals around their necks or celebrating a victory

GATINEAU, QC, Jan. 24, 2024 – The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) today announced a new program that will recognize Canadian Paralympians for podium performances, providing a financial reward for medals won at the Paralympic Games. 

The new “Paralympic Performance Recognition” program will reward Paralympians $20,000 for winning a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver medal, and $10,000 for bronze at the Paralympic Games. It will be in place for the Games in Paris this summer and each edition thereafter, and is equal to the amount Olympic athletes receive for the same achievements.

“Today is a historic day for Paralympic sport in Canada, and is the cumulation of years of work to create a more equitable, inclusive space for Canada’s Paralympians to compete,” says Marc-André Fabien, CPC President, who made the announcement today at the Canadian Museum of History along with other officials, supporters, and Paralympic athletes. “For many years, CPC has been focused on developing a system that is fair and effective by investing in athlete development and strengthening Canada’s Paralympic Movement.

“We have made significant advancements in support of Paralympic sport in recent years, and a performance recognition program was the next major priority to ensure athletes receive both the resources they need to continue competing, and the recognition they deserve for their dedication and accomplishments on the world stage.”



An initial $8 million endowment created by CPC’s philanthropic partner, the Paralympic Foundation of Canada (PFC), will launch the Paralympic Performance Recognition program and ensure a sustainable funding model, with lead donor Sanjay Malaviya contributing 50 per cent of the funds through the Malaviya Foundation.

Malaviya, who has been a leader in supporting the Paralympic and Olympic Movements in recent years, is matching a $2 million investment from the federal government. An additional $2 million is still to be raised, with Malaviya also committed to matching this amount. The Malaviya Foundation’s total contribution of $4 million is one of the most significant donations in Canadian Paralympic sport history.

“I have spoken to so many Paralympic athletes and each one has a story of dedication and passion, but also of barriers and adversity they have faced along their sporting journey,” says Malaviya, a healthcare technology entrepreneur. “Canada’s Paralympians are incredible athletes who unite all of us as they proudly represent our country, and I am thrilled to be able to support them and celebrate their accomplishments in this way.”

The Paralympic Performance Recognition program was kickstarted by a $2 million contribution from the federal government.

“This is a very welcome initiative and a game changer for Paralympic sport in Canada, recognizing the incredible amount of work, commitment, and resources required to compete at a world-class level,” says Minister of Sport and Physical Activity Carla Qualtrough. “It is fantastic to know that today’s Paralympians and the next generation of athletes to come will receive this much-deserved equitable recognition for their performances. I am so proud to be able to support the performance recognition program.”

Similar initiatives for Paralympic athletes already exist in other countries —such as France, the United States and Australia—and a program for Canada’s Olympians has been in place since 2006. 

The program is part of a larger $35 million initiative, IGNITE, to be launched by PFC later this year. The IGNITE campaign will be the largest-ever initiative to empower the Paralympic Movement in Canada by breaking down barriers to participation.

“This is a significant step forward and an important moment in the history of the Paralympic Movement in Canada,” says Jim Westlake, Chair of PFC. “We are proud to be able to provide Paralympic medallists with this much-deserved recognition, and we thank the federal government and Sanjay Malaviya for their generous support in making this possible. With a sustainable funding model in place, Paralympic Performance Recognition can be financed well into the future.”

Aurélie Rivard, Three-Time Paralympian, 10-Time Paralympic Medallist, Para Swimming:

“Today’s announcement is so much more than sports news. We are making the decision as a country to equally value and support the athletes representing Canada, regardless of their differences. I think that this is a major step towards seeing a Paralympic medal worth the same as an Olympic medal.”

Priscilla Gagné, Two-time Paralympian, Tokyo 2020 Silver Medallist, Para Judo:

“I am exceedingly excited to learn Paralympic medallists will be receiving prize money for each medal they win. This initiative truly shows us Paralympians that we are valued as much as Olympians are. I’m so grateful for the generosity of Mr. Malaviya and also extend my thanks to the Government of Canada for its contribution to this program. I’d like to thank all of those who have been working towards this behind the scenes for their efforts and making this dream a reality.”

Nicolas-Guy Turbide, Two-Time Paralympian, Two-time Paralympic Medallist, Para Swimming:

“During my career I have trained alongside Olympians and Paralympians, and it hasn’t always felt like achievements at the Paralympics held the same value as medaling at the Olympics. The Paralympic Performance Recognition program brings us one step closer to earning the same recognition and respect as our Olympic counterparts.”

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