What is an Olympic Medal worth to an athlete?

Did you know that some countries award their athletes for their performance at the London Olympics?

I don’t get it for some sports (I mean does Kobe Bryant need any financial incentive to win a gold medal at basketball).

Here is a roundup of some countries and their incentives for their athletes:

[highlight]Britain: [/highlight]

Athletes from the host nation, Great Britain, aren’t getting any money for their efforts as the British Olympic Committee (BOC) believes that the medals and efforts are enough.

According to the Telegraph, a BOC official said:

[quote]It is our view that financial rewards do not significantly impact the motivation of an athlete to reach the Olympic podium. We believe that the drive, dedication and commitment required of Team GB athletes is motivated, first and foremost, by the desire to represent their country to the very best of their ability on the greatest sporting stage in the world, the Olympic Games; and their love of sport.[/quote]


Even though with the problems this country is having they are awarding their athletes  $182,000 for a gold medal winner.


2008 was the first time Canada gave incentives. The 2012 Olympians will get $20,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze.


Russia is offering $135,000 for a gold medal, $81,000 for a silver and bronze winners get $54,000.

What do you think about these incentives?

4 thoughts on “What is an Olympic Medal worth to an athlete?”

  1. Wow that’s crazy how much Italian athletes get. No wonder they’re having financial problems with decisions like that. I guess they don’t win many golds though. I think for most Olympic sports it is important to reward the athletes financially. They don’t make a whole lot of money otherwise and need to be able to commit all of their time to training. It should reflect how much the athlete normally gets paid to participate in their sport outside of the Olympics.

  2. I bet the athletes aren’t really in it for the money, but rather the love of their sport. Do you think the monetary incentive to their athletes is because the medal count is more important to that particular country’s government? Some of them must have a real chip on their shoulder about being beaten by the U.S.!

  3. For sure, the money is primarily an attempt to win the pissing contest that the medal count becomes. They figure that if the athletes are paid well enough, they will get into Olympic events instead of other professional sports.

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