How Much Money Do Olympians Make? | London 2012
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How Much Money Do Olympians Make?

How much money do Olympians make? It depends on a lot of variables: whether they come from rich countries or poor ones, whether they won medals during the Games, whether they compete in the popular sports events, and many other factors.

Anyways, I’ve been blogging about this question for sometime now and I think it’s a good idea to put together the separate posts I’ve made into a single one. This way, those of you who are googling “How much money do Olympians make” will see the bigger picture without needing to go through all the previous entries.

I hope to update this in the future as I come across more information. As you will note, this mainly focuses on the incentives/allowances that athletes receive from their country’s sports authorities. I hope to include the income of Olympians from endorsement deals and sponsorships in a future update.

So here’s our list. Please follow the link for details.

Thai Incentives
Gold medalist = $314,000
Silver medalist = $187,788
Bronze medalist = $125,213

Philippine Incentives
Gold medalist = US$220,000

Azerbaijan Incentives:
Gold: AZN 100,000 and NOC–AZN 50,000
Silver: AZN 50,000 and NOC AZN 30,000
Bronze: AZN 25,000 and AZN 20,000

The AZN amounts are converted to the following:
AZN 100,000 = USD 123,777
AZN 50,000 = USD 61,888
AZN 25,000 = USD 30,944

I honestly don’t know the difference between AZN and NOC-AZN.

Russia Incentives:
Gold medalist: 100,000 euros (US$150,000)
Silver medalist: 60,000 euros (US$90,000)
Bronze medalist: 40,000 euros (US$60,000)

Slovenia Incentives:
Individual events:
Gold medalist: 39,350 euros (62,920 U.S. dollars)
Silver medalist: 30,400 euros (48,609 dollars)
Bronze medalist: 21,450 euros (34,298 dollars)

Team events:
Gold medalists in team sports will each receive 10,000 euros (15,990 dollars) from the Slovenian Olympic Committee in addition to the one-off 96,750 euros (154,703 dollars) that the state is giving to the whole team

Malaysia Incentives
[Note: These amounts may have already been increased.]
Medal incentives:
Gold = RM160,000 [US$ 49,088.96]
Silver = RM80,000 [US$ 24,544.48]
Bronze = RM40,000 [US$ 12,272.24]

Monthly pension for retired medalists:
Gold medalist = RM3,500
Silver medalist = RM1,500
Bronze medalist = RM1,000

Allowance for Olympic qualifiers:
Monthly allowance = RM1,000 [US$318]

United States Incentives
[Note: This was for the 2004 Olympics]
Gold medalist = $25,000
Silver medalist = $15,000
Bronze medalist = $10,000

Canada Incentives [in Canadian dollars]
Gold medalist = $20,000
Silver medalist = $15,000
Bronze medalist = $10,000

Australia Incentives
Quote from an official:
“We have a medal incentive scheme which only goes down to number four and the best are getting $18,000.”

Kenya Incentives
Gold medalist = US$11,000
Silver medalist = US$ 7,500
Bronze medalist = US$ 3,700

Palestine Incentives (See our first post below)
Monthly allowance: US$ 100

Argentina Incentives
Olympic qualifiers:
Sportsmen diplomas and scholarships of 4,000 pesos. [US $ 1,326]

How Much Money to Palestinian Olympians Make?

Are you, like us, wondering how much money Olympians make? Specifically, how much financial support do they receive from their country’s sports authorities? And how much do they make from endorsements, if any?

Well, we’ve been wondering about that but can’t find a central source that answers our questions. So what do we do? Well, friends, let’s start a series on the matter by republishing reports we find elsewhere. Hopefully, we can then come up with some kind of a data base that compares the income of Olympians. Okidok?

So let’s kick off the series by looking at how much money Nader Al Masri, the Palestinian runner we featured here, makes. On this issue, here’s what the China Daily says about him:

He gets only $100 a month from the Palestinian Athletics Federation — a sum he says is insufficient for the multi-vitamins, nutritious food and quality running shoes needed to compete at the highest level.

We assume that that’s $100 U.S. We gotta agree that it wouldn’t be enough to cover the things he mentioned, no? So cheers to you Nader for keeping on. And good luck in Beijing, buddy.

Note: We’re just pretending that he’s our buddy because we like to pretend that we are buddies with famous people


1 Steve { 08.18.08 at 12:13 am }

This is according to USA Today on 7/27/2008

The aging Olympians have changed not just the face of the team but how the U.S. Olympic Committee does business.

Eight years ago, it began paying athletes directly for living and training expenses (they now can receive up to $36,000 a year), giving them performance bonuses and providing health insurance and tuition assistance. Two years ago, the USOC opened an Athlete Recovery Center at its training center in Colorado Springs.

Unlike 30 years ago, when the end of an athlete’s Olympic pursuits almost always coincided with college-graduation age, today’s Olympians are staying through marriage and, in some cases, through having children. Besides the increased USOC support, athletes now can make money from endorsements and prize money and retain their Olympic eligibility.

Torres is a well-paid motivational speaker outside the pool — she receives an average of $25,000 a speech, according to her agent, Evan Morgenstein — and has lucrative endorsement deals with Speedo and Toyota.

Swimming at the Olympic level at her age, Torres says, is “all about recovery” from training and competition, and she’s able to afford two muscle “stretchers” who travel with her, in addition to frequent sessions with a strength coach, massage therapists and a chiropractor.

“This is our job,” says U.S. superstar Michael Phelps, 23, who will earn a $1 million bonus from sponsor Speedo if he wins at least seven gold medals in Beijing (he plans to swim in eight events). “We can swim as long as we’re swimming well.”

The average age of the U.S. Olympic swim team has risen from 18.4 in 1972 to 22.8 now.

“We’ve always felt that swimming should be more like track and field and that our best performances should be coming in our late 20s and our early 30s,” says Mark Schubert, USA Swimming’s national team coach.

Sponsorship dollars now are pouring into swimming, in part because of the high profile Phelps and others have brought to the sport. Even with the increased experience of the team, youngsters are breaking through: 15-year-old Elizabeth Beisel will swim two events in Beijing.

U.S. swim coaches say they will depend on veterans such as Torres, 25-year-old Natalie Coughlin and 26-year-old Amanda Beard to help calm the nerves of the Olympic newcomers.

The USOC’s Roush welcomes a mix of veterans and young competitors on the Olympic team.

“I certainly don’t want it to become a system where (Olympic veterans) become pipeline-blockers and you lose out on a generation” of athletes who say, ” ‘Hey, I can’t make the team so I’m quitting,’ ” he says.

The International Olympic Committee began to soften its stance on amateurism — which had kept Olympians from profiting from their sports success — in the mid-1970s. But not until the “Dream Team” of NBA players made its debut in the 1992 Games did the IOC embrace pro athletes.

U.S. swimmer Mark Spitz won seven gold medals in the 1972 Olympics under the old amateurism rules. When he decided to cash in on his success after the Games through endorsement deals, he had to give up his Olympic eligibility. If the rules hadn’t changed, Spitz says, Phelps might have done the same thing after winning six gold and two bronze medals in the 2004 Olympics.

Instead, Phelps plans to compete through the 2012 Olympics.

“When Spitz and those guys did it back then, there was no professional swimming. So once you got to a certain point where you had to get a real job, you had to quit,” Phelps says.

Not all Olympians are as richly sponsored as Phelps, who has several endorsement deals besides his Speedo contract, which he signed at 15. Many Olympians are not sponsored.

Callahan has no sponsors and receives money from USA Shooting only for expenses for international competitions. She estimated she has personally invested “thousands of dollars” to stay in a sport in which her best Olympic finish was a 19th place in 2004.

Callahan, who worked 28 years for the Washington, D.C., police department, spends the money and trains up to six hours a day for one reason: “I like to compete.”

Even well-sponsored track and field has its hardship stories.

“Memories of good performances are short-lived in the minds of people who write checks,” pole vaulter Jeff Hartwig, 40, a four-time U.S. outdoor champion, wrote in an e-mailed response to questions. Even after qualifying for Beijing, he wrote, he has no sponsorship offers.

The USOC tries to help such athletes with a program it began in 2000. “In early 2000, we looked at it and realized we had athletes who were bartending … to pay their training bills,” Roush says. “They weren’t able to train at the level they needed.”

Now, depending on their performance, athletes can receive up to $3,000 a month from the USOC. Athletes also get USOC bonuses for top-eight finishes at world championships and for Olympic medals ($10,000 for bronze, $15,000 for silver and $25,000 for gold).

2 Tanya Crane { 11.26.09 at 5:16 am }

Flawless coach is required not only for swimming but also for life. Drew berman, a leading mentor in motivating people is a perfect example to be a flawless mentor. His ideas can definitely motivate any one with a constructive approach. Drew, I think is a right choice for anyone who would want to make his dreams come alive.

3 thomas { 01.07.10 at 10:37 am }

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4 Deb { 02.13.10 at 1:51 pm }

While the people of Haiti die in the rubble and the children of Africa suffer an unthinkable existance, we grossly indulge in our privileged lives, spending billions to promote people who do little else but hone an athletic talent. Ah, we should all be so lucky. And how the corporate wheel scoops them up and feeds off of them. Good old fashioned capitalism at work in full force.

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