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How Much Do Olympic Winners Get Paid?

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes about interesting things.

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Many people watch the Summer and Winter Olympics. They wonder if the winners get paid. However, they do not know the details about the payments. They might be surprised how much some countries pay their winners as well as finding out that some winners don't get paid anything.

Most Olympic medal winners do receive a cash reward from their home Olympic committee. However, the payments are different depending on the country the winners represent. For instance, a bronze winner in one country could get double what a gold medalist gets in another country.

Prize money comes from different sources and not from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which organizes the Olympic Games. Most winners are paid by their home country.

How Much American Winners Are Paid

Currently, American athletes get a modest amount of $37,500 for each gold medal they win. Gold medalists in Singapore get $744,000. That's nearly 20 times more than American winners. Americans receive $22,500 for each silver medal and $15,000 for each bronze medal.

Notice that the amount is for each medal that a winner gets. That means that if an American gets seven gold medals, then he or she gets $262,500. That really adds up.

The reward is split evenly between team members, according to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) website. These amounts are up from $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Americans have to pay taxes on their winnings in the same way lottery winners do.

Getting More Than a Paycheck

Winners get more than a medal and a paycheck. Many of the more prolific winners get commercial sponsorships, endorsements, and other perks. For example, Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, the country’s first Olympic gold medalist, will reportedly get around $600,000 from the Philippine Sports Commission and from top businessmen.

The 30-year-old champion has also been offered two houses and free lifetime flights courtesy of the AirAsia network. She was given unlimited flights for five years when she won a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Other Perks

Besides getting payments for medals, winners get other perks. After they step down from the podium with flowers in their hands and medals around their necks, they could win a small fortune from sponsorships, commercial endorsements, television appearances, other lucrative deals. Of course, they also get bragging rights. The amount winners get depends on their profile and marketability based on how much they are connected to their sport.

The International Olympic Committee promotes the games, but it does not pay the winners. The IOC does provide the medals and sends an Olympic diploma, which is a certificate to all who finish in the top eight.

Breakdown of Current Olympic Medal Payments

It is hard to pinpoint exactly how much each country pays. Reports are not consistent. Therefore, the chart below is based only on the report from the National Olympic Committees and Forbes.

What can be gleaned from the reports is that some countries pay a whole lot more than their counterparts. Also, there is a big difference between what the gold medalist gets from what the silver and the bronze medalists get.

There are some countries that don't give monetary prizes money at all. Great Britain, New Zealand, Sweden, and smaller delegations like Saint Kitts and Nevis and the U.S. Virgin Islands give their winners stipends or grants from national sports associations, according to a Forbes report.

Estonia doesn’t officially hand out a paycheck, but it gives its Olympic gold medalists an allowance of $5,500 every year with additional support for retirement. Therefore, if a 29-year-old Olympian reaches the life expectancy of 78 years would collect more than $300,000.

No matter which reports you read, you will see that Singapore gives the highest payouts even though the figures are not always the same in all reports. Most reports indicate that winners of gold medals get $738,000, silver medalists get $500,000 dollars, and bronze medalists get $250,000. Those amounts are much higher than winners from other cuntries.

(Sources: National Olympic Committees and Forbes)

COUNTRYGOLD MEDALSILVER MEDALBRONZE MEDAL

Singapore

$738,000

$500,000

$250,000

Kazakhstan

$250,000

$150,000

$75,000

Malaysia

$237,000

$71,000

$24,000

Hungary

$166,000

$118,000

$94,000

Brazil

$66,000

$39,000

$27,000

Japan

$61,000

$24,000

$12,000

South Africa

$50,000

$30,000

$20,000

United States of America

$37,500

$25,500

$15,000

Canada

$22,000

$16,00

$11,000

Australia

$20,000

$15,000

$10,000

For Further Reading

10 Countries Offer Six-Figure Payouts to There Olympic Medalists

How Much Athletes Ge Paid For Winning at Olympics

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