After months of hard work, Indonesia’s athletes are ready to enjoy the fruits of their labor following the Southeast Asian Games.
Rita Subowo, president of the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) and head of the Games organizing committee (Inasoc), confirmed on Wednesday that cash bonuses promised to medal winners would be distributed starting today.
“The government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, has already given Inasoc Rp 150 billion ($16.7 million) for athlete and coach bonuses. We have the money,” she said Rita. “Right now we’re still verifying their bank accounts, and the cash will be transferred to them starting [today] with an awarding ceremony in Cibubur.
“But it’s not tax free, unless the Sports Ministry is willing to pay the tax for them.”
Speaking in Palembang on Wednesday, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Andi Mallarangeng said the government would pay for the 10 percent tax.
“We want all the athletes and coaches to receive the full amount of their bonuses as a token of our gratitude for their efforts in the SEA Games,” Andi said.
Indonesia dominated the medal tally at the Games, returning to first place for the first time in 14 years. It won 182 gold medals, 151 silver and 143 bronze.
Andi announced on Nov. 11 that the government would provide cash bonuses of Rp 200 million for each gold medalist, Rp 50 million for silver and Rp 30 million for bronze. Every squad member in team events will receive the same bonus.
Coaches whose athletes win gold will receive Rp 50 million, Rp 30 million for silver and Rp 15 million in bronze.
Rita offered her assurances that the bonus scheme would not change despite Indonesia’s athletes outstripping KOI’s prediction of 155 gold medals.
“All members of teams that win gold will receive Rp 200 million each,” she said. “I don’t have the statistics with me right now and I don’t remember the exact amount, but the government money is enough to cover all bonus expenses.”
According to the official Games Web site, 329 Indonesian athletes were involved in gold-winning performances, while 414 finished with silver and 344 with bronze. Based on those numbers, the government will spend Rp 96.82 billion on athletes’ bonuses alone.
Despite only winning five silvers and four bronzes, dragon boat will receive the biggest chunk of bonus money (Rp 6.54 billion) as 158 rowers were involved in winning those medals. Kempo (8-7-1) is second with Rp 5.68 billion, followed by paragliding (11-4-6) with Rp 5.5 billion and Rp 4.82 billion for karate (10-2-4).
Athletics, the nation’s top medal source (13-12-11), will receive Rp 4.43 billion.
Paraglider Thomas Widyananto will receive the biggest individual bonus. His four golds and two bronzes will make him Rp 860 million richer. I Gede Siman Sudartawa, Indonesia’s 17-year-old king of the pool, is a close second with Rp 800 million for his four golds.
Two rowers, Anwar Tarra and Eka Oktarorianus, earned Rp 680 million each after collecting three golds, a silver and a bronze.