The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) fixed bonus money for Russian Olympic Champions in Athens, ROC President Leonid Tyagachyov disclosed at a press conference on Monday.
According to him, athletes performing in combat sports activities (boxing, wrestling, etc.) will be paid extra $100,000 for winning the gold. The rest of the athletes bringing to Russia gold medals will get $60,000 each. In case an athlete sets a world record the sum increases to $100,000.
The state awards for the Olympic winners were set at $50,000, $30,000 and $10,000 for gold, silver and bronze medals correspondingly.
Mr. Tyagachyov also added that about 3,000 Russian fans would go to Athens to support the Russian team.
Moreover, it was decided to take 500 Russian Olympic Champions of the past years, so "that they would feel the care of the ROC," Mr. Tyagachyov noted.
He also added that the Russian state flag at the opening ceremony on August 13 would be probably carried by Russian four-times Olympic Champion, swimmer Alexander Popov. However, Mr. Popov's candidacy will be discussed at the general meeting of the Russian team captains at the Olympic village, but Mr. Tyagachyov is certain that the Champion's candidacy will be supported unanimously.
All in all, the Russian delegation at the 2004 Olympics in Athens will include about 1,500 people, including officials, doctors, lawyers as well as 30 journalists at the cost of the ROC. The number of athletes at the Games is 470 people, ROC Presidential advisor Daria Chervonenko disclosed to a RIA Novosti correspondent.
According to Mr. Tyagachyov, Russian athletes will be fighting for the first place in the unofficial team standings. "We can achieve this task. All we need is a bit of luck to take the first line in the unofficial team standings. The Russian team is ready for the Olympics in Athens," he stressed.
At the previous Olympic Games in Sydney the Russian team won 88 medals (32 gold, 28 silver and 28 bronze medals) thus ranking second in the unofficial team standings.
Since the likes of the traditional Inauguration Day in the national Capitol are likely never to be witnessed again, take this opportunity from one who has been there to relate some truth about the experience