American swimming is ready to break its piggy bank for the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, and then the 2024 Paris Games. With a clearly stated objective: a raid on gold medals in the relay events. The American federation (USA Swimming) announced this week that it has set up a new bonus system to financially reward the swimmers of the seven relays on the program of the Worlds and the Games: 4×100 m men and women, 4×200 m men and women, 4×100 m medley men and women, 4×100 m medley mixed. At the 2023 Worlds in Fukuoka, a $500,000 prize will be distributed among all the relay athletes in case of a US grand slam in the relay. In the event that the U.S. team reaches the podium in each of the seven team events, but does not win every time, the prize money will be reduced to $150,000. For the Paris 2024 Games, USA Swimming is promising $1 million to be shared among the swimmers in the event of a grand slam, and $250,000 if they medal in all seven relays but fail to win the full Olympic title. At the 2022 Worlds, the U.S. won seven medals in relays, but only five titles. The last U.S. Olympic relay grand slam was at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
— Published 15 March 2023