At a glittering ceremony at the Ministry of National Defence on June 27, the government awarded almost $6.7 million dollars to the medal-winning athletes and coaching staff of Team Cambodia who ascended the podium at the 23rd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games 2023.

Addressing the ceremony, Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism and permanent vice-president of both the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games organising committees (CAMSOC-CAMAPGOC), explained that the government issued a sub-decree which detailed the awards.

Individual gold medallists received around $10,000, silver winners earned roughly $7,500 and those who claimed bronze claimed around $4,000.

An inter-ministerial announcement detailed how head coaches would earn the same amount, while assistant coaches picked up 70 per cent.

Competitors in “team sports” received an incentive of 100,000 riel ($25), as did their coaches, with assistant coaches collecting 70 per cent of the award, it added.

Khon said the total expenditure for the 598 medal winning athletes and their coaches totalled $6.66 million.

The 86 athletes and coaches who live abroad had already received their awards, while the remaining 512 collected their prize money at the June 27 ceremony.

Outstanding Cambodian Vovinam athlete Pal Chhor Rasmey, who earned four gold medals in SEA Games received award from Defence Minister Tea Banh. SPS

“These historic sporting events were a spectacular achievement for Cambodia, as the host nation. We all witnessed the incredible accomplishments that can be attained through hard work, dedication and patience. We overcame all of the obstacles we faced, demonstrating the truth of the slogan ‘Khmer can do it’,” said Khon.

The Cambodian national team won a total of 81 gold, 74 silver and 127 bronze medals at the 32nd SEA Games, ranking 4th on the international medal table.

During the 12th ASEAN Para Games, Cambodian athletes won nine gold, 18 silver and 44 bronze medals, ranking 8th out of the 11 participating countries.

Khon highlighted that the Kingdom has faced many complex challenges ahead of the games, especially the pressure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It was only thanks to excellent, steadfast leadership, as well as the responsible participation of all stakeholders, that the Kingdom was able to overcome the obstacles it faced,” he said.

“Under the … incredible dedication of officials, authorities at all levels, youth, volunteers and the general public, we turned the games’ into glorious successes that raised the Kingdom’s national prestige around the world,” he said.

Defence minister Tea Banh also offered his appreciation to all of the stakeholders that combined their efforts to make certain the games will be remembered by all who witnessed them.

“As host country, we surprised our guests with our strong performances, talent and professionalism – both on and off the field. We also shattered our previous medal tallies. Thank you all,” he said.