Free Press Journal

Morales promises rewards for Bolivia’s medallists in Rio


Bolivia's President Evo MoralesBolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a news conference at the presidential palace in La Paz April 3, 2014. Morales expressed his solidarity with the Chilean people following earthquakes in the northern region over the past few days. REUTERS/ABI/Bolivian Presidency/Handout via Reuters (BOLIVIA - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - RTR3JTG0

La Paz (Bolivia): Bolivian athletes who win medals at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics will receive up to $50,000 in bonus, President Evo Morales said here during a send-off for the Andean nation’s 12-member contingent. “I am very confident that you will exalt Bolivia’s name,” he said at the presidential palace on Tuesday, reports Efe.

Medal winners will receive a bonus of $30,000 (bronze), $40,000 (silver) or $50,000 (gold), the president pledged. Though modest in size, the delegation exceeded the initial expectations of the Bolivian Olympic Committee, which expected no more than 10 of the country’s athletes to qualify for the 2016 Games.

The squad comprises racewalkers Angela Castro, Wendy Cornejo, Stefany Coronado, Marco Rodriguez and Ronald Quispe; marathoner Rosmery Quispe; swimmers Karen Torrez and Jose Quintanilla; judo fighter Martin Michel; cyclist Oscar Soliz; and shooters Rudolf Kjinenburg and Carina Garcia.

Castro has been chosen as flag-bearer. Bolivia has never won a medal in the Olympics. The country’s biggest triumph in international sports competitions was at the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, where William Arancibia won a silver medal in taekwondo.