Olympics Prize Money: Do Olympians Get Paid?
There aren’t many things freezing winters and sweaty summers have in common. But what the two seasons do share—at least every four years—are the Olympic Games. Every alternating two years in a four-year period, the world comes together to watch thousands of top athletes participate in summer and winter sports.
Athletes from 200 participating nations train nearly all their lives in an effort to make it to the Olympics. Therefore, compensation for a win, which not only is a feat for the athlete but the country they represent, is part of any athlete’s consideration. So how much do countries pay for Olympic medals? It depends and can range from $0 to over half a million. The map below can be sorted by paydays for gold, silver, and bronze medals to answer if Olympians get paid—and what that number is in each country?
View How Much Olympic Medalists Are Paid in a full screen map
We pulled the data from Wikipedia’s list of Olympic incentives. Each “incentive” (read: cash) is the 2021 U.S. dollar equivalent. In the story of the Olympics prize money, we’ll be sure to highlight the highest-paid gold medalists and how much silver and bronze medalists score. So let’s get started with how much do Olympians make.
How Much Money is a Gold Medal Worth?
Competing in the Olympics is a great feat unto itself—regardless of placement. But for those with their eye on the ultimate Olympic prize, the million-dollar question becomes: what’s the prize money for Olympic gold medal? Let’s check out the answer.
- Singapore – $737,000 per gold medal
- Taiwan – $720,000
- Hong Kong – $642,500
- Thailand – $365,150
- Indonesia – $346,000
- Kazakhstan – $250,000
- Malaysia – $236,000
- Azerbaijan – $235,000
- Morocco – $225,067
- Italy – $213,000
When you’re going for gold, Singapore is the country to represent. Top medalists from Singapore make $737,000, more than any country in the world. In fact, many countries in Asia pay their winning athletes large sums. Eight of the 10 highest-paying countries are located in Asia.
More specifically, Southeastern Asian countries like Singapore, of course, and Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, give generous paydays for taking home Olympic gold. Additionally, both the Eastern Asian countries of Taiwan and Hong Kong are noted above for their over half a million-dollar reward for gold. But how do these countries stack up when it comes to their payments for silver and bronze?
Silver Medalists Score $369,000
Silver winners look pretty similar to the gold list above, with some key differences.
|Country||Gold||Gold rank||Silver||Silver rank|
It’s no surprise Singapore remains #1 when it comes to Olympic prize money for silver. Singaporean silver medalists receive more money than most gold winners from other countries. Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, and Morocco rise in ranks while Taiwan, Indonesia, and Azerbaijan fall. And Hungary, who didn’t even make it into the top 10 in gold, appears in 8th place when it comes to silver. To browse bronze, sort the map by the third-place medal.
Now a one-time payout of, say Hong Kong’s $642,500 for a gold medal seems to be a reasonable payment for an athlete’s hours upon hours in a gym. But most countries have multiple athletes placing in a variety of sports. So it begs the question, how much did the top winning countries like the U.S., Japan, and Great Britain pay their medalists in total just in the 2020 Summer Olympics?
The U.S. paid nearly 1.5 million dollars to its gold medalists in the 2020 Summer Olympics alone. And altogether, Team USA shelled out exactly $2.88 million to gold, silver, and bronze winners. Next, Japan doled out $1.62 million in total. While the U.K., which doesn’t award money for medals, its flat $38,339 annual stipend per athlete means it spent $2,492,035 during the same Olympics.
Explore the Map with Multi-Column Grouping for Gold, Silver & Bronze
Let’s take a moment to applaud the Olympic medalists and the countries that pay them well for their efforts. And now, we can appreciate that we can explore insights in your map with multi-column grouping.
When it comes to data, you often find yourself with more than just location information. In our case: gold, silver, and bronze payouts.
With BatchGeo, you can filter by the multiple columns of your additional spreadsheet data at the same time, as depicted below.
This way, you see only what you want, such as the top-paying countries for each of the three medals—all at once. Learn more about how to explore insights in your map with multi-column grouping or get started yourself at batchgeo.com.