What Different Countries Pay Athletes for Olympic Gold Medals
The Top 5 Bonuses By Country
The country that offers the biggest reward for an Olympic gold medal is Singapore. Any Singaporean who is able to win gold will be $1,000,000 richer. There are 25 athletes from Singapore competing in the Tokyo Olmpics.
Indonesia offers a bonus worth $746,000 for a gold medal, but like Singapore, it has 37 athletes competing in the Toyko games. Many of their athletes are competing in Badminton and weightlifting.
Any Kazak athlete that wins the gold gets a bonus of $250,000. A silver medal is worth $150,000 and the Bronze is worth a $75,000 bonus. While these numbers are big, Khazkastan has 97 participants and not all of them will win, so Kazakstan may not need to pay a large number of bonuses.
Azerbaijan first participated in the Olympic games as an independent nation in 1996, and has sent athletes to compete every year since. Azerbaijan pays a hefty $248,000 bonus for the gold, and similarly healthy bonuses of $124,000 and $62,000 for the silver and bronze respectively.
Unlike the other countries in this list, Italy has a long history of participating successfully in the Olympics. The Italian Olympic committee started in 1908 and was formally recognized in 1913. As of 1996, Italy was the most successful nation in the world at fencing. Italy pays a bonus of $166,000 for gold, $83,000 for silver and $55,000 for bronze medals.
There are plenty of other countries that offer six figures to their athletes for being on top of the podium. Hungary offers $125,000 for a gold medal with and Russia, France the USA all pay five figure bonuses for medals.
The Bottom Of The List
By comparison, the bonuses offered by Canada and Australia are downright stingy. A gold medal for a Canadian athlete will mean a $15,000 bonus, while a silver will bring in $11,000 and a bronze will net $8,000.
And, Unlike many other countries, the US taxes these bonuses which can mean that as much as 39.6% will end up going back to the IRS.
Of course, the cash bonuses can be only a small fraction of the actual worth of an Olympic medal won, especially a gold medal. Gold (as well as silver and bronze) can often mean lucrative endorsement and advertising deals that can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more. Much of this depends on the country and in what event the medal comes, but it’s often these deals that bring the most money from winning an Olympic medal.
But more than what they make is what we can learn from these athletes, with everything they do, all the work they do. What an amazing feat it is for them to win the gold.