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Sports

Can money buy Olympic success?

Opening Sequence

Opening Sequence

Sports

Can money buy Olympic success?

0:00
17:54
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COMING UP:Can money buy Olympic success?

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Transcript

00:00:01
>> What does it take to become an Olympic champion? Hard work, obviously. But in team GB's case, there's also hard cash.>> About two-thirds of our strategic investment comes from the national lottery. And thanks to the national lottery players in the UK who are buying tickets every week.
00:00:18
They've contributed to this level of success we've seen here in Rio.>> Lottery funding began after team GB's dismal showing in Atlanta. Only 1 gold out of 15 medals put them 36th after 20 million pounds of investment. 235 million was spent on the Beijing games and it paid off.
00:00:36
47 medals took them up to fourth. And now in Rio, they're second after 274 million pounds of investment. So does money buy success?>> It's a people business. So if you put together the talented athletes, the technical expertise that the resources enable the sport to employ, and the resource, then you've got those three ingredients which are supporting success here.
00:01:00
>> Medal prospects are identified up to eight years in advance. Take Gaius Thompson, for example, who's being funded for Tokyo 2020.>> It does help and incredible amount because we can just focus on our sport. We can focus on thing we love most. And we don't have to worry about doing the job or anything like that.
00:01:20
>> Gymnastics is one of the success stories. Four medals in London meant more money and more medals, six in Rio. But the model's also ruthless. Basketball had its funding cut after failing to medal in 2012.>> It's just unaffordable. If we put, say 30 millions pounds into basketball over the next three cycles, then there would be a significant number of sports and athletes that are capable and have delivered medals here that wouldn't be able to be supported.
00:01:46
>> As it stands, each medal in Rio has cost Britain just under 5 million pounds, but if success really does breed success, then it could be money well spent.