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Is There Any Financial Incentive for Winning an Olympic Medal?

Competing and winning at the Olympic Games might seem like reward enough, but some of those spectacular athletes bring home more riches than just gold, silver or bronze medals. While participants are never paid to participate in the Games, many countries crown their athletes' glories with cash. For example, after the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the United States gave every individual gold medalist $37,500 USD, while silver and bronze winners received $22,500 USD and $15,000 USD, respectively. Players on medal-earning teams split the cash evenly among themselves. Of course, the Olympics are supposed to be about more than money, but if you're really looking to cash in on being the best of the best, try playing for Singapore. The small Southeast Asian republic shows its appreciation to its Olympic medalists by handing out the equivalent of $1 million USD to every gold medal winner, $500,000 USD to silver medalists, and $250,000 USD to those bringing home the bronze.

Going for the gold:

  • 92.5 percent of an Olympic gold medal is made of silver.

  • As of 2019, American swimmer Michael Phelps has won 23 gold medals -- 14 more than the next-highest gold medal winners.

  • The first gold medals ever awarded at the Olympics were handed out at the 1904 Summer Games in St. Louis.

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