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PM guarantees Olympic funding until Rio
Funding for Olympic sports has been guaranteed until the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced.
UK Sport will receive £125million annually for the next four years to maintain funding at same level as the run-up to London. The move is "to reward the success of the UK's outstanding elite sport system" following the British team's record-breaking medal success at the London Olympics.
The Prime Minister said: "The motto of these Games has been 'inspire a generation'. Nothing has been more inspirational than seeing our elite athletes win gold this summer."
He added: "There's a direct link between elite success and participation in sport. I want one of the legacies of these Games to be our athletes triumphing in Rio in 2016, and in future Olympic Games. Guaranteeing this funding will help ensure that happens."
The larger chunk of the money comes from the National Lottery but Exchequer funding makes up £40million a year. Until now, UK Sport, the body that distributes cash to Olympic and Paralympic sports as well as providing a number of specialist services, had only been guaranteed funding up until 2014.
A Downing Street statement said: "As an exception, Exchequer funding is now being committed to 2016/17, to give athletes financial certainty in the crucial final two years in the run up to Rio 2016."
Funded British athletes will be asked to offer up to five days a year of their time, free of charge, to take part in campaigns to encourage sport in schools.
UK Sport chair Baroness Sue Campbell said: "What has been achieved in London is momentous. We have put the UK on the map as a high performance nation with the talent to compete with the best nations of the world.
"What was once unthinkable has been achieved resoundingly. The Government's announcement to maintain funding in our high performance system demonstrates vision and commitment to sustain this level of high performance beyond London onto Rio and beyond - a true legacy of the Games."
Cycling's Sir Chris Hoy, who has won six Olympic golds, added: "Having these guarantees for the future will be a huge boost for all the athletes aiming to win medals at Rio 2016 and proves we are serious about building a strong legacy from London 2012."