Track and field athletes heading to the Paris Games will be competing not only for a gold medal but a first-prize check worth $50,000 that goes with it. It’s part of a cash infusion into the sport that many feel is long overdue. That prize money for an Olympic title, combined with the rapid-fire introduction of track meets with enhanced prize pools, represents the biggest publicly touted monetary commitment to the sport in decades. The push in track comes at an especially pivotal time, given the Summer Olympics are returning to the U.S. in 2028.