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50OLYMPIC REVIEW OLYMPIC SOLIDARITY I t would be understandable for an athlete from any of the world's developed nations to have taken for granted the facilities they have used or the coaches they have learned from throughout their career. But athletes from developing countries know it's a different story. Olympic Solidarity is the body that ensures that athletes with talent, regardless of their financial status, have an even chance of reaching the Olympic Games, winning gold medals and breaking world records. Olympic Solidarity is responsible for administering and managing the National Olympic Committees' share of the revenue from the sale of broadcasting rights to the Olympic Games. Working in particular with the most needy NOCs and their Continental Associations, Olympic Solidarity uses this money to develop assistance programmes. In the four years leading up to the Beijing Olympic Games the total amount allocated was just under a quarter of a billion dollars and a greater amount will be on offer leading up to London 2012. New initiatives to cover Vancouver 2010 and assistance for the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore later next year are also on the agenda. There are 19 programmes for athletes, coaches and NOC management as well as for the promotion of Olympic values. In addition, the five Continental Associations offer specific programmes to each of their member NOCs. Of the 19 programmes, those for athletes include team sport support grants and subsidies for training young athletes for the Youth Olympic Games and various continental and regional Games. But it is the Olympic " scholarships" that earn most attention. The scholarships give the athletes the opportunity to attend specialist training centres for anything up to two years leading up to a Games. In Beijing, from a total of 1,088 scholarships granted in the run- up to the Games, 591 " scholars" were able to take part in the Beijing Games including 389 men and 202 women representing 151 countries, more than ever before. They won a total of 81 medals including 19 gold, 33 silver and 29 bronze. " WORKING WITH NOCS AND CONTINENTAL ASSOCIATIONS, SOLIDARITY USES REVENUE FROM BROADCAST RIGHTS TO DEVELOP ASSISTANCE PROGRAMMES. IN THE FOUR YEARS LEADING UP TO THE BEIJING GAMES THE TOTAL AMOUNT ALLOCATED WAS JUST UNDER A QUARTER OF A BILLION DOLLARS AND EVEN MORE WILL BE ON OFFER IN THE RUN UP TO LONDON 2012"