Some Olympic Medal Winners Receive Cash Bonuses


TOKYO – United States wrestler after winning his first career gold medal at the Summer Olympics here Tamyra Mensah-Stock He had big plans for the bonus money that came with it: to buy his mother a $30,000 food truck.

Tamerlan Bashaev, 25, a bronze medal-winning Russian judoka, wants to use his money to get married and go on a honeymoon. Rower Andrea Proske, who helped Canada win its first gold medal in the women’s eight since 1992, can’t wait to take her mom on vacation to London.

“I couldn’t see him,” said Proske, 35. 20,000 Canadian Dollars, roughly $16,000. “We were all really in our own bubble. So it will be special to be able to hug my mom for the first time since we got back post-Covid.”

Winning an Olympic medal is often the greatest achievement of an athlete’s career. Yet most Olympians aren’t multimillionaire athletes like Naomi Osaka, Rory McIlroy or Kevin Durant, so competing at this elite level can be a financial struggle.

But many Olympic medalists leave Tokyo with more than trophies dangling from their necks. They are given an extra backstage boost in the form of a bonus. Winning fills the wallet nicely in some countries – a fact that has aroused some fear and even some envy among medalists.

Some of the bonuses are substantial: $1 million (approximately $740,000) in Singapore’s local currency for the gold medal is the largest known prize. Some are more modest: a US medalist receives $37,500 for gold, $22,500 for silver and $15,000 for bronze. Other bonuses such as medal winners from England, New Zealand and Norway are not available.

(Some countries pay salaries, homes, lifetime beer, free flights even exemptions compulsory military service. Some national governing bodies also offer awards — USA Wrestling talent Kyle Snyder $250,000 for the gold he won at the 2016 Rio Games.)

“It’s funny because we don’t do it for that,” said Eddy Alvarez, a US baseball player who won a silver medal and a $15,000 bonus as a speed skater at the 2014 Olympics.

“Many Olympic athletes don’t do Olympic sports to become millionaires,” he continued. “There are very few who make it big, but we do it for pride and glory above all else. You spend so much time winning a medal that it solidifies our journey. The money is just a small bonus – at least for me.”

Alvarez said he deposited the 2014 bonus into his bank account to start saving, but later used it to pay for housing and other necessities when he began his career in the minor leagues, where players earned wages ranging from around $1,000 to $15,000 per season.

“It’s going to be a little different now that I have a son,” Alvarez said. who will be the sixth person to win medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympics After the United States faced Japan gold medal match on saturday. “It will go towards him.”

Singaporean Joseph Schooling took the first ever gold medal in his country’s history, an island city-state known as one of the richest in the world per capita, when he won 50.39 seconds in the men’s 100m butterfly at the 2016 Rio Games. . He paid for school, then 21st.

in the 1990s, Singapore National Olympic Council devised an incentive scheme to reward athletes who have won medals at major international events. Payouts range from $1 million for an individual Olympic gold medal to $10,000 for an individual gold at the South East Asian Games. According to the council, the program is supported by corporate sponsorships and donations from the country’s gaming revenues.

“Monetary awards have supported athletes to pursue their sporting dreams, and knowing that bread and butter issues may be less of a concern,” said Chuan-Jin Tan, president of the Singapore National Olympic Council, in a statement.

After paying taxes and making a mandatory 20 percent donation, he has about $650,000 left, Schooling said. Schooling, who competed at the Tokyo Games but failed to defend his title, said he put the remaining money in a joint bank account for his family because they invested so much in him going to the United States and pursuing his Olympic dreams.

At the age of 13, Schooling left Singapore for a private school in Florida. Where American swimmer Caeleb Dressel also competed. His family bought a house nearby, and in turn interstate shuttle taking care of it – while they’re all trying to go about their own business. He later entered the University of Texas.

The school estimated that he “easily” spent twice the net amount his parents earned in the Olympic jackpot. “The amount of sacrifices, intangibles, would be five to six times that,” he said.

Many Tokyo Olympians said they were considering using the bonus money for family. 32-year-old French judoka Teddy Riner, who has added a team gold and an individual bronze in Tokyo to the already two gold and one bronze award, said that he will deposit the bonus money into his children’s bank accounts and take them on vacation.

The country’s Olympic committee said it hopes to use the $75,000 payment received by 22-year-old Kazakhstan weightlifter Igor Son for his bronze medal to help pay for expensive treatment for his brother, who has cerebral palsy.

Mensah-Stock, 28, said that long before she won her gold medal, she promised her mother she would help her start her own food business. Mensah-Stock did not qualify for the 2016 Games, but in Tokyo, won gold and some money.

“Mom is buying a food truck!” He cheerfully declared after his victory, and later added, “He can cook really, really, really well.”

Unfortunately, Mensah-Stock said he couldn’t attend the barbecue: “I’m a pescatarian now.”

When Ruth Gbagbi of Ivory Coast won the bronze medal in taekwondo in 2016, she said she used about $54,000 to build herself a house and renovate her parents. After winning another bronze medal in the Under-67kg category in Tokyo, Gbagbi said he wasn’t sure how much he would get or what to do with it.

When asked if the payouts were a nice reward, Gbagbi, 27, said he was a little disappointed when compared to other countries. And he said, he only has two more Olympic medals from his country. “Ivory Coast can do more,” he said in French.

In some countries where more authoritarian governments were heavily involved in Olympic efforts, it was not known how many medals he had won. (For some, the Olympic committees also did not respond to requests for comment.)

31-year-old Cuban judoka Idalys Ortiz, who has already added a bronze medal to a collection of gold, silver and bronze in Tokyo, was stern when asked what plans he had for any awards that could be given to him.

“Everyone lives how they want,” he said in Spanish, and later added: “If I can help some people on the street, I will. If I can buy a house, I will too. We each do what we want to do with our money.”

Norwegian rower Kjetil Borch paused and smiled when asked how he would spend his prize. He won the silver medal in the men’s singles, finishing about a second behind Stefanos Ntouskos of Greece and one second ahead of Damir Martin of the Croatian.

“Maybe we’ll get a letter from the king and prime minister,” he said. “I’m pretty sure Croatia and Greece haven’t received a letter from the king.”

Borch, 31, said he framed the last letter he received from King Harald V after winning the bronze medal in 2016. National Olympic committee spokesman Halvor Lea said Norway does not give any bonuses to medalists, but grants. scholarship. Athletes receive 12,000 Euros (US$14,000) a year for top-of-the-line equipment or training – not for a car or a nice watch, Lea clearly added.

“I’m lucky to have private sponsors,” Borch said. “I’ll talk to them when I get home. I have a Lego car I can give away, but I don’t have a home.”

When told that Singapore has awarded $1 million to gold medalists, Borch replied, “How long does it take to apply for citizenship?”


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *