Financial bonus for Timaru's Olympians
$40,000 for seventhSTU PIDDINGTON
Timaru's Shane Archbold and Marc Ryan will pocket some deserved cash for their Olympic exploits in London.
Ryan's bronze medal in the team pursuit will see him pocket $55,000, before tax, while Archbold's seventh placing in the omnium will earn him $40,000.
The Performance Enhancement Grants (PEGs) are taxpayer-funded and handed out by High Performance Sport New Zealand, the agency tasked with generating international sporting success.
A gold medal is worth $60,000, while different amounts are on offer for teams larger than eight.
High Performance chief executive Alex Baumann said the grants were not strictly a bonus scheme, but were paid to elite athletes to ensure they had sufficient income to stay at the top of their sports between international events.
"The PEGs programme is put in place to help athletes with living costs to ensure that they can train at the highest level. It is not a reward/bonus scheme but is direct athlete assistance to ensure that they can devote their attention to quality training and competition."
Archbold, 23, said his first Olympics was an awesome experience but he was also relieved it was over.
"The hard work has been put in and racing is over," he said.
"It's an amazing experience, definitely one of life's moments I'll never forget."
"I have enjoyed every minute of it. It's made me hungry to get back on the bike when my break is over to work on my weaknesses."
Archbold said the points race was the toughest of the six events for him.
"It's the longest and physically hardest.
"When you're having a bad points race it's hard to get things to go your way and it can play on your mind a lot in the 40-minute race."
On the puncture he suffered halfway through the 4000m individual pursuit, Archbold said it was a gutting experience but he was philosophical.
"Knowing I had to go out again soon and put my body though all that hurt again . . . but some things are out of your control and a puncture is one of those things."
Archbold was delighted he had a chance to catch up with his parents, Julieann and James, and his sister Emma, after completing his competition.
"It was awesome I got to see them after I had finished racing. It was also great to have my parents here to experience a life outside Timaru after putting so much of their time and money to supporting me."
No date has been confirmed for a celebration parade for the cyclists in Timaru but it is likely to be at the end of the month.
Ryan has a commitment with the New Zealand team at the world junior track championships in Invercargill, while Archbold does not return home until a week after most of the team get back.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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