The COC’s Athlete Excellence Fund (AEF) is a support and reward program that provides Canadian athletes with performance awards of $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000 for winning Olympic gold, silver or bronze medals respectively. It also provides funding of $5,000 during non-Olympic years, to support living, training, and competition expenses.
The COC is proud to have awarded $ 13,294,900 thus far, since the inception of the AEF. The COC rewarded Canada’s 2012 Olympic medallists in its distribution of the AEF, distributing $684,900 between the 57 podium athletes. Canada’s medal success at the 2012 Olympic Games include the historical Women’s Soccer Bronze Medal, as well as medal success in Canoe-Kayak, Diving, Judo, Athletics, Track Cycling, Weightlifting, Wrestling and our men’s and women’s Rowing Teams.
After the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the COC rewarded Canadian medallists with a record $1.7 million. Canada’s 26 medals were the most in its Winter Games history, and the 14 gold medals were the most ever won by a single country at an Olympic Winter Games.
The COC first introduced the concept of a direct athlete support and incentive program with its ‘Athlete Fund’ in 1997. In 2003, the Athlete Fund transitioned into what was known as the Performance Recognition Support Program (PRSP) and awarded $5,000 to each Canadian athlete finishing in the top-5 at World Championships or Olympic Games.
The AEF was created in 2006 and is an evolution of the PRSP. The Athletes’ Commission developed the criteria for the AEF, which was then approved by the COC’s Executive Committee.
Guidelines of the AEF include:
- In Olympic years, eligible athletes will receive the award for each medal won at an Olympic Games. In a non-Olympic year, financial support for living, training and competition expenses based on the single best past performance will be distributed annually to athletes.
- Retiring athletes are eligible to receive the AEF funding since it is based on performances that have already taken place, not future performances.
- The application process for non-Olympic years is by invitation through the National Sport Federations (NSF).
- In an Olympic Year, performance awards are the same whether the athlete is from a team sport or an individual sport.
- In non-World Championship and non-Olympic years, the NSF and COC agree in advance for the results or competition to be used for AEF. Any questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are a NCAA student-athlete it is your responsibility to determine if accepting the AEF will impact your eligibility and scholarships
- Funding follows a four-year cycle:
- Year 1: Top 5 at World Championships – $5,000
- Year 2: Top 5 at World Championships – $5,000
- Year 3: Top 4 at World Championships – $5,000
- Year 4: Olympic Games:
- Gold medal – $20,000;
- Silver medal – $15,000;
- Bronze medal – $10,000.