The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have dominated headlines of late. Seeing the skill and dedication of athletes from around the globe is certainly an inspiring thing. But a list of how much money Olympic medal winners earn in each country around the world has surfaced online this week - and it's safe to say it's shocking the internet.
The first reason this issue was brought to the world's attention was following weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz making history by winning the first-ever gold medal for the Philippines. It was revealed that the Filipino government awarded the athlete a whopping $660,000, along with a house and a condo.
People were shocked - and many revealed they'd never actually considered the monetary reward of winning an Olympic medal before. So Buzzfeed got to digging and revealed some of the most shocking prizes for Olympians around the globe.
It seems that Singapore tops the generosity list, with a Gold medalist bagging $737,000, the Silver $369,000, and the Bronze $184,000. Things are a lot less flashy in Japan, with Gold medalists winning $45,000, Silver $18,000, and Bronze a paltry $9,000. It's barely worth competing, right? Canada's payments are similarly low, at $16,000 for Gold, $12,000 for Silver, and $8,000 for Bronze. And the ones we're sure you're most interested in? Team USA. Well, those figures are as follows: Gold: wins $37,500, Silver, $22,500, and Bronze, $15,000.
People online have had some strong opinions on the figures. "I thought the whole point of the Olympics was that it was an amateur competition, not a professional one, so I thought no money was given!!! Genuinely shocked as I totally thought that was the case!" one outraged commenter wrote on Facebook.
Others pointed out how paltry the remunerations are in comparison to the costs of training to an Olympic level. "Hi, ex figure skating coach. Here is a lesson on what it costs to train to be an Olympian in the US. Skates: $1000+ for the boots, 1000+ for the blades. Competition dresses = $1500+ each. Sometimes a whole lot more. Music production for your programs is $500+ each. Training every single day: you have to pay for your ice time, $15 to $20 an hour. Your coaches get $1.50 to $2.50+ per MINUTE. You generally have more than one coach, plus a choreographer. Plus competition fees, travel, and the coaches' fees for competitions. These prices btw are from when I taught like ten years ago. I'm sure they are even more now. Being an athlete in the U.S is only for the rich. I have seen brilliant skaters have to quit because they simply couldn't afford it. It hurts to think how much talent we are letting go down the drain because of the cost."
Another made this incredibly valid point. "When I won a gold medal at the Paralympics in 2008 we got just $5,000. And I took a month of leave without pay from my full time job to go. I think we got $2,500 or $3,000 for our silver medal in Athens. I would have been thrilled with $37,000. Paralympians are finally getting equal pay but it took way too long."
Read the full list right here.