How much does the US pay their Olympic medalists? 'Rewards' compared with other countries
The world has its eyes fixed on the biggest sporting fest of the year, the Tokyo Olympics, where sporting records are in the process of make and break. The Olympic medalists are greeted with fame and riches in their home countries. Every country rewards their Olympic medalists, however, the 'nature' of rewards has become a topic of discussion.
A 2016 US fencing bronze medalist Monica Aksamit recently posted a video on her TikTok where she showed what other countries pay their medalists compared to the United States. Her video, which has been shared more than 24,000 times and has more than 21 million views sparked a debate.
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How much does the US pay their Olympic athletes?
According to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), at the Tokyo Olympics, American athletes get $37,500 for each gold medal, $22,500 for each silver medal and $15,000 for each bronze medal. It is important to note here that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics cash rewards saw a fifty percent increase from the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games. Other countries like Singapore award their gold medalists with approximately $737,000, silver medalists with $369,000 and bronze medalists with $184,000. Kazakhstan and Malaysia reward their gold medalists with around $250,000 and Japan gives their gold medalists $45,000, silver medalists $18,000 and bronze medalists $9,000.
In 2019, Monica Aksamit told The Post that she needed to raise $21,000 to fund her way to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. At the time, she was receiving a $300 monthly stipend from the US Olympic Committee, and the 31-year-old athlete struggled to pay for her commute to the Manhattan Fencing Center on West 37th Street for practice. "I’m embarrassed by [the fund-raising], but there isn’t anything else I can be doing. Most part-time jobs are physical. Waiting tables, you are on your feet all day long and then you’re too tired to train. I have applied for a few part-time jobs [in retail] and been honest about my schedule. They always say, ‘Yeah we are interested in someone who has more availability'," Aksamit said. Aksamit was born in New York City and was raised by her single mother in Matawan, New Jersey.
An American saber fencer, Aksamit started fencing when she was nine years old. She won a team silver medal at the Junior World Championships in 2008, a team gold medal and an individual bronze medal at the Pan American Championships in 2009, and helped Team USA win the team gold medal at the Pan American Championships in 2016. Aksamit won a bronze medal for the US at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the women's team saber event.