Have you ever wondered if Olympians win prize money? Or if it’s just the medal, the glory, and a funny trophy they go home with?
Well the answer is, it depends. Each individual country is responsible for doling out prize money to its athletes, and can choose how much (if at all) it gives.
Surprisingly, Britain is one of the stingiest countries of the bunch. The British Olympic Association doesn’t give a penny to its champion athletes – zilch, nada, nothing.
By contrast, Singapore offers one million Singapore dollars to any athlete that brings home an individual gold medal, which is equivalent to â¬665,000.
The US also spends a lot of money on its athletes – $25,000 (â¬22,382) for a gold medal, $15,000 (â¬13,429) for silver and $10,000 (â¬8,953) for bronze. Though less than Singapore, the cost racks up quickly – the Asian nation hasn’t won a single medal so far this Olympics, whereas the US stands top of the table at 38.
Michael Phelps has won four golds alone at these Olympics – no wonder he is one of the wealthiest athletes around.
Meanwhile in Azerbaijan it’s not just the athletes that win a monetary prize – it’s the coaches too! A gold medal would mean 400,000 AZN (â¬220,448) for the athlete, and 200,000 AZN (â¬110,224) for the coach, reported The Azerbaijan Press Agency.
Most other countries offer rewards into the thousands of pounds, even those countries closer to home that are certain to receive multiple medals – Fox Sports reports France, Russia and Germany as giving tens of thousands to their gold medallists, with Italy granting â¬140,000 to its winners.
For those who don’t win medals, prizes, grants or sponsorship, it can be a life of stress and worry.
Training and competing at the top level of sport costs thousands and thousands of pounds – the huge number of American athletes who set up GoFundMe pages in the run-up to Rio is testament to the prohibitive cost of attending the Games.
For now, the answer is obviously to become a Singaporean gold medallist.