Olympic Medal Winners Earn This Much for Their Victories

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Katie Ledecky
Salty View / Shutterstock.com

Winning an Olympic medal is not solely about athletic glory. You also can earn some cold, hard cash for your efforts.

To be sure, the International Olympic Committee is not writing checks to competitors who finish in the top three of their events. But several nations offer monetary rewards to athletes for the medals they win at this year’s Games in Tokyo.

And the money can be substantial.

Take Singapore. The Southeast Asian nation pays gold-medal winners $737,000, according to CNBC. Silver winners earn $369,000, and a bronze medal fetches $184,000.

Kazakhstan pays its gold-medal winners $250,000. In Malaysia, the reward is $236,000.

Those amounts are far higher than what the U.S. pays its medal winners. American medalists earn:

  • Gold: $37,500
  • Silver: $22,500
  • Bronze: $15,000

The numbers are actually a bit better than they might appear at first blush, however. The money awarded to U.S. medal winners is not taxable unless athletes have an adjusted gross income that exceeds $1 million, according to the IRS.

In addition, U.S. athletes can access other perks, such as health insurance, world-class care at highly ranked medical facilities and college tuition aid, CNBC reports.

Why do some nations reward medal winners so lavishly? Unmish Parthasarathi, founder and executive director at consulting firm Picture Board Partners, tells CNBC it is because governments in some nations are trying to spur a growing sporting culture.

Are you still hoping to watch the rest of this year’s Games? If your budget is a bit more modest than that of a gold-medal winner from Singapore, check out “5 Ways to Watch the Summer Olympics for Free.”

And if you plan to go for the gold in the race to get rich, learn how to budget better with the help of Money Talks News partner YNAB (You Need A Budget).

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