Are Olympic Athletes Paid? How do you pay for the trip to the games?


With the 2021 Summer Olympics just around the corner, we know tons of athletes have trained for years to get to this point. They made their bodies get bigger, better and stronger in order to represent their countries as best as possible. But what do you get in return for all your work?

Being an athlete is not an easy task considering the amount of time and effort it takes to be in tip-top shape. And because it probably takes so much time, fans wonder if they still have time for much else. Being Olympians is definitely a job, but are the athletes paid? Here’s what we know

Are Olympic Athletes Paid?

US Olympic athletes don’t make a lot of money, according to a 2018 article by CNBC. Not only are they paid to be considered one of the best athletes in the country, but they can receive performance-based scholarships that cover things like rent and food. Some have said they have part-time jobs, and like many other public figures, some of them receive advertising contracts or sponsorships to keep them afloat.

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Due to the demanding Olympic training schedules, many athletes do not have time to devote to other jobs. This leaves them with few options when it comes to making ends meet and paying bills. In addition, they have to bear a lot of travel expenses themselves. This could easily add to their financial burden when you factor in the cost of plane tickets and the transportation of all their equipment.

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Do winning athletes get paid?

Medalists can be paid more depending on the country they are from. Some countries, such as the US, offer something called a “medal bonus,” which is an additional amount of money to be placed in the top three. According to a 2016 article on the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) website, U.S. Olympic athletes would receive $ 37,500 for each gold medal, $ 22,500 for silver, and $ 15,000 for bronze as of 2017.

Those who take part in the Paralympic Games receive even less money. For example, according to the USOPC article, gold medalists would only make $ 7,500 per medal.

Many athletes have also commented on how they are struggling financially. US figure skater in 2018 Adam Rippon tweeted that he stole apples from his gym around 2013 because he had no money for groceries. He has been winning Olympic gold medals since the early 2000s.

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In 2021, Olympic track and field sprinter Allyson Felix, her sponsor Athleta, and the Women’s Sports Foundation will help other Olympic mothers pay for childcare during the Games. Nine athletes, including six who are going to the Tokyo Games, will receive a total of $ 200,000 from the Power of She Fund childcare grant.

“We are striving to remove barriers for mom athletes and holistically celebrate who they are,” Athleta posted on Instagram with a picture of Allyson and her daughter.

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