Still on the discussion of a monetary reward to the Olympic medalist, an athlete would need to sacrifice a lot to be at the pinnacle of their career. A world record meant to be broken, but to be an Olympic gold medalist would rank high in any athletes list, if you asked them.
The level of dedication and sacrifice needed from an athlete, since they start representing the school, university up to wearing the national colour would meant staying back after school for training, putting extra hours perfecting their skills, competition on weekends, more time spent training to correct their weakness and away from family. Could you do that?
From being the best in the school, to the best in the state, and nation, each step would mean they have less and less time for friends, social life and family if they really aimed for the pinnacle of sporting excellence. Nicol David does not get to be World No.1 by resting on her butt or blogging (like I do). She did it by hard work, perseverance and meticulous planning up to the minute detail. Could you do that?
If a RM1 million (incentive/bribe/reward) could encourage more people to take up sports, less merempit on the streets, unite the people of this blessed country and generally be more healthy, the benefit far outweighs the perceived excessiveness. Who knows if we won a gold medal in cycling, more people would be cycling and less car on the road. Less pollution, we become more healthy, the effects of fuel hike might not be too bad :)
How much do winners of AF got? Close to a million ringgit. How much do the people spend on SMSes? A few millions more? How much is the benefit of AF to the country? Go figure.
How much do you think a gold medal should be worth?