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How much money are US Olympians getting per medal?

Olympic medals are a prized possession for athletes; they’re hard to come by and owned by few. Here’s what US Olympians will make per medal.

FILE PHOTO: Simone Biles smiles at a teammate during the final day of women's competition in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for gymnastics in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., June 27, 2021.  REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

Making it to the Olympics is an accomplishment; winning a medal is another story entirely. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, 307 gold medals were won and 11,238 Olympians participated. The odds of winning a medal are evidently not in favor of the athletes.

No set standards exist for how much an Olympian can earn for winning a medal. This depends on the home country of the athlete.

How much do US Olympians earn for winning a bronze, silver, and gold medal?

  • Gold - 37,500 USD
  • Silver - 22,500 USD
  • Bonze - 15,000 USD

Which country pays the most for winning an Olympic medal?

Singapore and Indonesia reportedly pay the most for winning an Olympic gold medal, reaching all the way up to $1 million dollars. Singapore earned its first ever gold medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics in swimming. The United States won 46 gold medals in the 2016 Rio Olympics, meaning the US spent $1,575,000 in gold medals at the 2016 Olympics.

How much do Japanese Olympians earn for winning a bronze, silver, and gold medal?

  • Gold - 38,200
  • Silver - $25,500
  • Bronze - $12,700

Who makes the medals?

The host country is in charge of designing and making the Olympic medals, though they must follow a series of guidelines. For example, the diameter of the medals must be at least 60 mm. Olympic gold medals also need to contain at least 6 grams of gold.

  • Gold: Must have more than 6 grams of gold
  • Silver: pure silver
  • Bronze: red brass (with copper, zinc, and tin)

How is a designer chosen to make the Olympic medals?

This year, The Tokyo Committee decided to run a competition that was open to designers and design students. The winner of this competition was Junichi Kawanishi, a graphic designer from Osaka. He has exquisite taste, and seamlessly decided to weave Japanese motifs into the ribbon of the medals. The design symbolizes “unity in diversity” and innovation from harmony.

Olympians certainly don’t compete for the money, though the medal money is a nice incentive. Many American Olympians also make significant money through brand endorsements, personal appearances, and sponsors.

Home Depot, for example, sponsors athletes so that they can pursue their dreams. The company offers a 20-hour workweek and full time pay and benefits for athletes so that they can compete.

Olympian Chris Duffy said of the “I couldn’t have pursued my Olympic dream without Home Depot’s support.”

Twitter did something similar for collegiate athletes, offering them money for content published as long as they comply with NCAA rules.


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