How Much Is An Olympic Gold Worth?

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Written By Mohsen Salami

The Olympic spirit is not so much the winning as the taking part, but in the end the only winners at Rio 2016 are those that take home a gold.

Few of the 11,000 athletes taking part will win the coveted title of Olympic champion and even fewer will earn deals from sponsors.

To most athletes, the Olympic gold is priceless, even though the gold-plated silver medal has a bullion value of around $600.

Most of the money from sponsors goes into the big sports such as golf and tennis.

Even the triple Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt has a relatively slender pay packet as a track and field athlete than the multi millions offered to top swimmers, golfers and tennis stars.

Us medal winners taxed on payments

Bolt reportedly earns $2.5 million a year for his exploits on the track – months of training for an explosive few seconds of glory.

Swimming sensation Michael Phelps has 23 golds under his belt and by comparison is worth an estimated $55 million.

Olympic gold medal winners are paid nothing by the International Olympic Committee, but their national Olympic association can offer a reward to winners.

The US committee pays $25,000 to gold medal winners, so Phelps has scooped around $575,000 plus a little extra for his clutch of silver and bronze gongs.

However, the gift is liable to tax by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Financial winners and losers at Olympics

Team GB pays nothing for winning a medal and does not reveal how much money is paid to athletes to cover their living expenses so they can give up work to dedicate their full time to training.

The British Olympic team benefits from millions of pounds of lottery funding.

The big winners at the Olympics come from some of the smallest teams.

Azerbaijan’s Olympic committee is offering gold medal winners more than $500,000 for the achievement.

The team has collected four silver and six bronze medals. The winners have each picked up a bonus of $255,000 for coming second and $130,000 for a third place.

India is handing out houses and promotions to any competitors who work for the nationalised railways. One Indian has picked up a bronze medal at Rio 2016 – worth a $75,000 bonus.