One of the first olympic athletes of Philippines clinched its first ever gold medal in Tokyo this week. As a reward for Hidilyn Diaz’s historic achievement, she will reportedly receive at least 33 million Philippine pesos (around $600,000) from the Philippine Sports Commission as well as the country’s top businessmen.
How Much Olympic Athletes Earn
She has also been offered two homes and free flights for life, according to reports. While the International Olympic Committee does not pay prize money to medalists, many countries offer monetary rewards to their athletes for the number of medals they win at the Olympics.
More than 600 U.S. athletes are competing at the Tokyo Olympics, and the United States has so far won 11 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee rewards athletes $37,500 for every gold medal won, $22,500 for silver and $15,000 for bronze.
Most of that prize money is not taxable unless athletes report gross income that exceeds $1 million. U.S. athletes also receive other forms of support including health insurance, access to top-tier medical facilities and college tuition assistance.
Olympic Athletes Earn For Winning Medals
In comparison, Singapore rewards its gold medalists nearly 20 times more than the U.S. Players who clinch their first individual gold medal for the city-state stand to receive 1 million Singapore dollars ($737,000). The prize money is taxable and awardees are required to return a portion of it to their national sports associations for future training and development.
The country sent only 23 athletes to Tokyo. The sporting economy in the U.S. allows athletes to better monetize their talents as most of it is driven by the private sector, according to Unmish Parthasarathi, founder and executive director at consulting firm Picture Board Partners.
In places like Singapore, India and elsewhere, many of the national sporting initiatives are driven by governments that sometimes use higher monetary rewards to encourage a growing sporting culture, he told CNBC. Malaysia also has hefty rewards for its Olympic winners.
Athletes who win gold receive 1 million ringgit ($236,149), while silver winners are awarded 300,000 ringgit, and 100,000 ringgit is given to athletes who win bronze. In dollar terms, a Malaysian Olympic bronze winner will receive a higher performance reward than a gold winner from Australia or Canada.
How athletes Olympic Athletes Earn For Winning Medals
Beyond receiving monetary and non-monetary rewards from their countries for winning medals, Olympians rely on other revenue streams for their sporting endeavors.
Olympic athletes from bigger, more competitive countries receive stipends or training grants from their national sports associations. Top performers collect prize money by winning national and international tournaments. Others draw regular salary by holding a variety of jobs.
Some, like U.S. badminton player Zhang Beiwen, reportedly relied on crowdsourcing to finance their trip to Tokyo. Most Team USA athletes are not represented by sports agents and some have no sponsors or endorsements at all, according to a Forbes report.
A handful of olympic athletes may score multimillion dollar endorsements or sponsorship deals, either before competing at the Olympics or after achieving success in the Games. For example, tennis star Naomi Osaka reportedly made $55 million from endorsements in 12 months, and was named the highest-paid female athlete ever, according to reports.