Olympic athletes from different countries compete for their home nation’s glory, honor and pride, so it’s just right that they get rewarded for their hard work, especially if they get the Olympic gold.
Cash incentives however, vary from country to country, with some offering handsome cash bonuses while others opt to not give anything to their champions.
For the top countries participating in this year’s Rio Summer Olympics, a gold medal can fetch a handsome reward. Italy, Russia and France give each of their gold medalists $180,000, $135,000 and $65,000, respectively. China, for its part, rewards their top players with $31,400 per gold medal, while the United States gives out $25,000 for each gold medalist.
For countries who have been struggling to clinch at least a gold or two, governments offer a much higher incentive.
A Singaporean athlete can get a whopping 1 million Singapore dollars, or $746,000, for winning gold under its Multi-Million Dollar Awards Program. While no one has won the prize yet, a few athletes have been rewarded for getting silver ($378,000) and bronze ($188,000).
Taiwanese Olympic gold medal winners can get as much as 20 million New Taiwan Dollars, or $640,000, while silver medalists earn $223,000 and a bronze medalists earn $160,000.
The Indonesian government announced a cash prize of 5 billion Indonesian rupiah, or almost $384,000, for gold medalists. Silver and bronze winners will get two billion rupiah, or $152,000, and one billion rupiah, or $76,000, respectively.
Thailand reportedly guarantees a 10 million baht cash incentive for gold medalists, which is around $287,000. A silver medalist gets 6 million baht, or $172,000. The private sector often adds cash prizes too, usually amounting to additional millions of Thai baht.
In Azerbaijan gold medalists await a huge payday on top of the government-backed incentive of 400,000 Azerbaijani manat, which is almost $250,000. A silver medalist gets 200,000 AZN ($124,000), while bronze fetches 100,000 AZN ($62,000).
In Kazakhstan, gold medal winners reportedly receive 86 million Kazakhstani tenge, or around $250,000. Silver wins 50 million KZT ($150,000), while bronze gets 25 million KZT ($75,000).
Filipino athletes who bring home a gold medal are granted 10 million Philippine pesos, or $215,000. Silver medalists get 5 million PHP ($107,000), and bronze medalists get 2 million PHP each ($43,000).
India announced that gold medalists will be rewarded with 10,000,000 Indian rupees, which is around $150,000. Silver medalists are awarded 7,500,000 Indian rupees, or about $112,000, and the bronze medalists are awarded 5,000,000 Indian rupees, or about $75,000.
In South Korea, gold medalists receive 60 million won, or about $55,000. Silver medalists earn 30 million won, about $27,000, and bronze medalists win 18 million won, or about $16,000. However, South Korean coaches are actually awarded even more money than the athletes.
On the lower end of the scale, countries like Australia and Canada only award their gold medalists $15,000 each. However, Great Britain doesn’t award their athletes any money. Instead, they get their face on a stamp, but they may receive sponsorship contracts worth more than most higher paying countries.