Women's Sport: Dame Katherine Grainger says future of funding of British Olympic and Paralympic sports unknown

Around the Games: Day 0 - Winter Olympic Games

With the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Dame Katherine Grainger has said that there is a funding gap.

Grainger, who is the chair of UK Sport, told BBC Radio 5 Live that athletes were awarded money until March 2021, which is where their current budget ends. 

She told the broadcaster: “Now we’re in uncharted territory as to how we go from that March break point through to the summer where it looks like the Games are going to be, although the IOC is still to announce dates, so I think that’s the kind of conversation we’ll be having with the government.

“I don’t want to make any presumptions at this point but we’ve had incredible support from the government over many, many years for high-performance sport so I would very much hope that they understand the challenges that we’re all facing in all the different sectors right now and they would want to see the Olympic and Paralympic teams supported as they always have been right through to the summer of 2021.”

Despite this, former rower and five-time Olympic medallist Grainger is in support of the move. She said: “I think it relieved a big headache by making sure it wasn’t going to happen this year.”

“I think it’s bought a lot of time for a lot of the athletes that need to now rethink about next year, and what it means for us is more conversations with the government.

“Understandably sport won’t be their most pressing issue right now, there are other bigger things at play in this country but at the same time, we want to try and make sure we’ve got some security for the teams."

The new dates for the Olympics and Paralympics haven't been decided yet although it looks likely it will be summer 2021. The move will have a knock-on effect to the Paris 2024 Games with athletes having a three-year cycle to prepare rather than a four-year one as is traditional.

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