Whilst sitting at my laptop writing up my column for this week with BBC Radio Norfolk playing in the background, I could not help but sit up when hearing on the news that athletics will become the first sport to introduce prize money to Olympic gold medallists this year in Paris. 

A sum of $50,000 (approx £40,000) each will be paid to winners! 

Don’t get me wrong, I have never been against athletes getting paid for their efforts. Especially for those who have committed their lives to being full time, but my initial reaction was that something just did not feel right about it all. 

Any rewards which dedicated athletes receive is usually fully deserved and for many years let’s not forget that lots of money was being derived from athlete’s efforts whereby it was forbidden for those competing under the official amateur banner to be paid. Other than what was regarded as expenses that is, or of course cash in what was known as a brown paper envelope payment. 

I don’t doubt for one moment that the money will be gratefully received, but I am sure any gold medallist will go on to receive far much more than the 40k on offer for several years thereafter by way of appearances and sponsorship. 

Most of the brands also pay their athletes by way of bonuses for taking part in major championships and of course medalling. From what I believe so do many countries. 

With this in mind, I decided to check out what the ancient Olympians may have received. Apparently – a victor received a crown made from olive leaves and was entitled to have a statue of themselves erected in Olympia. They were also treated like a modern-day sports celebrity by their home city where they obtained benefits such as having all their meals paid for at public expense whilst also affording the luxury of front row seats at the theatre and public festivals. 

As for the entitlement of having statue of yourself on display after winning a gold medal, perhaps that’s where the idea of the gold post boxes came from after the 2012 London Olympic Games. Well maybe! 

When all is said and done – for those athletes who have an Olympic gold medal placed around their necks, I am sure they will all say that alone is priceless. 

Moving on and trying to keep up with life and its many changes – as always have a great running weekend all especially those running in Manchester on Sunday.