The Japan Swimming Federation said it will offer 30 million yen ($371,000) in prize money to each Japanese swimmer who wins a gold medal at the London Olympics.
The amount, unusually high for an Olympic medal, is being funded by sponsor firm GMO CLICK Securities, Inc., the federation said.
It said silver medalists will get 3 million yen and bronze medalists 1 million yen.
"We gave the gold medal a special amount in hopes of boosting the athletes’ motivation," said an official with GMO CLICK.
The Japanese Olympic Committee also awards prize money: 3 million yen for a gold medal, 2 million yen for a silver medal and 1 million for bronze.
Besides the JOC, many sports organizations provide cash prizes.
For example, the Japan Table Tennis Association offers 10 million yen for a gold medal in the singles event.
The Japan Professional Cyclist Union offers 30 million yen for a gold medal in the cycling event.
Swimmers were not unappreciative of the federation's generosity.
Kosuke Kitajima, who is aiming for his third consecutive Olympic gold after winning two gold medals each at the Beijing and Athens Olympics in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke events, said: "I'm grateful. But I'm not aiming for gold because I want the money."
Takeshi Matsuda, who won a bronze medal in the 200-meter butterfly event at the Beijing Olympics, said, "My dream is to run my own swimming club one day, so I will do my best (to win the prize money)."
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