This Is How Much Olympic Winners Actually Make

Michael Phelps Announces Retirement

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Olympic champions are making a lot of money from their multimillion-dollar endorsement deals Рthat is certainly no secret. Michael Phelps allegedly received $5 million for his Under Armour deal Рand his earnings obviously do not stop there.

Top athletes usually earn prize money from their country’s Olympic committee. For the United States, for example, gold, silver and bronze winners earn $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 respectively. That means that Phelps will earn $140,000 in Rio alone and a whopping $650,000 across all five of his games appearances.

The United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) “Operation Gold” has distributed large checks since the 1994 Winter Olympics in order to incentivize dominant performances and to help pay off athlete’s training expenses. The funds come from private donors – not tax dollars.

Some athletes also receive money from their respective sports’ organizations, like USA Swimming. For team events like soccer or basketball, each team member gets their own monetary bonus versus splitting the whole pie.

So, in short, it’s not just pure motivation that drives these Olympic athletes. Just like you and I,¬†they are susceptible to the temptation of money.

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