Money was never a motivator. Despite her many successes, Nina Druel hasn’t been able to get her hands on any fat pots in recent years. Inhibit runner Eileen Berings can also talk about it. “This is the reality for any top athlete who is not a football player or a cyclist,” the athlete told Spurza Tokyo.
After winning gold at the World Cup and European Championships, Nina Druel crowned herself Olympic champion on the uneven rails bridge on Sunday. However, the Belgian world champion has not had to count on a huge paycheck in recent years. Something some people doubt.
“That’s just the reality,” Barriers Elaine Berings explains. “Sport Vlaanderen uses employee contracts. These are not very high wages, while there is a lot of pressure in life as a top athlete.”
“As long as the athletes study, the decision can still be made. Ordinary students also have to do student work. But after student life, the athletes are under tremendous pressure,” Berings adds.
Athletes are under tremendous pressure to earn low-reserve wages.
“For wages that provide so few reserves, there is a lot of stress. You really need money to survive.”
“Tia Hellepott kept the same Olympic champion salary”
As a hurdles player, Berings also understands criticism of Belgium’s bounty system. “During my studies I had a student contract, but then something was added because you get 100 percent pay.”
“I can live off that because I have extra income through prize money and sponsorships. But if you don’t have anything other than that contract, it gets really hard. Especially if you want to rent a house, for example,” the old athlete concludes.
In fact, there must be some kind of reward system.
According to Berings, athletes are under a lot of pressure because of the small amount they bring in. “There is simply no margin. When you have an injury or have a tough year, you can’t undo certain reserves.”
“By working part-time, you can earn the same and at the same time do excellent sports. But this is of course a difficult combination. There has to be some kind of reward system,” suggests the athlete.
“I remember Tia Hellepott becoming an Olympic champion and just keeping the same salary. Then I think you’re in a bad position.”
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