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Sorta Random Sunday: How Olympic Athletes Get Paid

Credit for this fun topic goes to my colleague and partner Dr. Michael Nagai. We were talking during the last Summer Olympics and he came across an article talking about how much money Olympic athletes are paid for winning medals.

It’s something that I never really thought about before. But it’s super interesting.

For example, a U.S. gold medalist will make a bit above $37,000 for winning gold while a gold medalist from Singapore will win over $700,000 USD!

So, in Honore of the ongoing Winter ’22 Olympics, let’s revisit the subject!

olympic athletes

Why the difference?

Well, for starters, smaller countries or higher paying countries tend to send less athletes to the Olympics. So they can afford the higher rewards. If every US medalist made 6 figures, the Olympic Committee would run out of dough real quick.

The other main difference appears to be that high paying countries tend to have governmentally controlled athletics. Thus, the government pays to encourage and support building cultures of sports such as with these incentives.

Meanwhile, in countries like that US, sports is really privatized. Athletes make money in other ways such a sponsorships, grants from organization, or winning private competitions.

But the problem comes with the athletes that fall in between the cracks of this system

For instance, a US badminton Olympic athlete had to crowdsource to raise funds for her trip to Tokyo. Many other Olympic athletes work a variety of jobs to support their sporting.

I don’t have a solution but it is very interesting to think about!

Whether you are an Olympic athlete or not, these are my favorite go-to posts about the path to financial freedom!

What do you think? How should Olympic athletes be compensated? Did you watch the Olympics? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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    Jordan Frey MD, a plastic surgeon in Buffalo, NY, is one of the fastest-growing physician finance bloggers in the world. See how he went from financially clueless to increasing his net worth by $1M in 1 year and how you can do the same! Feel free to send Jordan a message at [email protected].

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