Hello SOTGC Community,
With the Olympics coming to a close this Sunday, it’s back to work for many of the Olympians. That’s right their sport isn’t their day job. The business of the Olympics is big bucks for some but not for others. They might be the best in the world at their sport but are they rolling in the dough?
- Even Olympians can’t escape the IRS. Like you pride is not the only thing Team U.S.A Olympians feel when accomplishing success. The U.S Olympic Committee (U.S.O.C) awards gold medal recipients $25,000, silver $15,000 and bronze $10,000. Olympians are also just like us – they have to pay taxes on these financial awards.
- When negotiating your next job, you’re probably going to push for a raise and very likely health insurance. Unlike your career, it’s a rarity for athletes to receive a stipend or even health insurance from the U.S.O.C. Unlike other countries, U.S. athletes receive no government financial support; travel expenses are paid for by a pool of private donors and sponsors.
- Most athletes live on the poverty line. Group training facilities such as an Olympic Training Center provide coaching, injury support and living arrangements and are funded by the U.S.O.C, grants and corporate sponsors. 50% of U.S. Track & Field athletes who rank in the Top 10 make less than $15,000 annually.
- Like the corporate world, salaries of Olympic athlete are not a level playing field. Many athletes don’t reach the elite level of a Michael Phelps (with a reported net worth of $55 million) or gymnast Simone Biles (who reportedly earned $2 million before the Olympics). Endorsements are few and far between and for American Olympic athletes who are also college athletes, it’s against NCAA (college governing body for sports rules to accept sponsorship money.
- Many athletes make careers out of coaching in their respective sport but they’re a diverse bunch when it comes to jobs. The resumes of Team U.S.A. athletes include models, a disc jockey, sausage salesman, web developers and teachers.
Interested in learning more about the corporation that is the Olympics? Check out our post “From Green to Gold – The Business of the Olympics.” Don’t forget to keep in touch by subscribing to Last Night’s Game’s free triweekly publication, The Rundown, to receive a quick and painless breakdown of the current happenings in the world of sports.