EXCLUSIVE: Australian athletes and fans have reacted with horror to news that all Tokyo 2020 medal winners must surrender their medals to Gina Rinehart.
Athletes will present their gold, silver or bronze medals to Rinehart’s representatives upon returning to Australia, according to a statement from Hancock Prospecting, Rinehart’s family company.
“Gina Rinehart owns the Australian Olympic team,” began the statement from Hancock Prospecting.
“She also owns all of the metal on Australian land, whether it be in the ground or out of the ground, or even in the form of an Olympic medal. Gold, silver and bronze are all mined in Australia in some form, and Ms Rinehart consequently and rightly claimed ownership of all such metals returning to Australia from Tokyo.”
It is believed the medals will all be melted down to base metals before being exported in this form throughout the world. Depending on the number of medals Australia wins, one gold, silver and bronze medal may be salvaged for display at Hancock Prospecting headquarters.
It is also believed that this was the motivation behind Rinehart’s support of Australian sport. She is possibly the largest individual donor to Olympic sport in Australian history and heavily supports sports such as Swimming and Rowing in which Australia nearly always wins Olympic medals.
Rinehart has swamped Channel 7 with commercials during the official coverage of the Tokyo Olympic Games in order to remind Australians of the influence she wields over sport and the nation in general. The ads boast of the company’s sponsorship of many Australian sporting teams and they align the company with Australia’s consistently high ranking in international sport. They fail to align the company with Australia’s consistently high ranking in environmental destruction and its contribution to the climate crisis.
Australia has the world’s highest per capita carbon footprint, some of the world’s worst rates of land clearing and has some of the world’s highest rates of carbon emissions, due largely to Rinehart’s core businesses of mining and agriculture.
Fans have rushed to social media to condemn Rinehart’s actions, labelling them heartless, greedy and UnAustralian. Many Aussies have also called on the Australian government to protect the nation’s sporting heroes, to which Rinehart’s spokesperson replied:
“Gina owns the LNP.”
Politicians such as Barnaby Joyce, Matt Canavan, Angus Taylor, Keith Pitt and Scott Morrison usually jump at the opportunity to piggy-back on Australian sporting success, but have not commented on the issue.
Rinehart’s spokesperson also said:
“Stealing Olympic medals from Aussie athletes is not UnAustralian. The fact that 83% of Australia’s mining industry is foreign owned, now that’s UnAustralian.”