What do Olympic athletes earn?

How much money do Olympic athletes earn? I’ve been watching the 2008 Beijing Olympics and I’m totally hooked. But what about their lives beyond the Olympic events? I’ve always wondered how much money Olympic athletes make so I decided to do some searching. Financial support varies from country to country so I’ll take a look at Team USA because I’m from the United States of America.

I read this PDF file from TeamUSA.org that has a lot of information about stipends, bonuses, and reimbursement. Here are the main money makers once you reach the Olympics.

Gold Medal: $25,000
Silver Medal: $15,000
Bronze Medal: $10,000

Here’s a quick breakdown of what each Olympic Athlete from the U.S. gets for the Beijing 2008 Olympics :

  • Competition & Camp Expenses (airline – United VIK, room/board &
    accreditation fees)
  • Monthly Stipends
  • Performance Incentives
  • OTC Resident Program
  • Elite Athlete Health Insurance (EAHI)
  • NIKE Apparel

Monthly stipends range from $250-2000 per month, so I’m sure a lot of athletes have jobs while they’re training. This is only what the country is giving athletes, but there’s a lot more money to be made with endorsement deals and bonuses. Speedo, the swimming gear brand, awarded a $1 million bonus to Michael Phelps for breaking Mark Spitz’s 1972 gold medal record of seven gold medals in single Olympics events (from CNBC) and 21 year old Jamaican, Usain Bolt, received a $1.8 million bonus from his sponsor Digicel for breaking the 100 meter race world record back in May (picture).

Some related 2008 Olympic Posts:
That guy was always fast
Olympic quote of the year!
$$$ Top earning Beijin Olympics Athletes

Get more information about the Olympics Team USA at TeamUSA.org, see the final Beijing overall medal count here and here’s the count sorted by Gold medals. (Image above is courtesy of geckoam)

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