Hidilyn Diaz of Team Philippines competes during the Weightlifting – Women’s 55kg Group A on day three of the 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo International Forum on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Chris Graythen | Getty Images
Why some athletes earn more
More than 600 U.S. athletes are competing at the Tokyo Olympics, and the United States has so far won 11 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze.
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee rewards athletes $37,500 for every gold medal won, $22,500 for silver and $15,000 for bronze. Most of that prize money is not taxable unless athletes report gross income that exceeds $1 million.
U.S. athletes also receive other forms of support including health insurance, access to top-tier medical facilities and college tuition assistance.
In comparison, Singapore rewards its gold medalists nearly 20 times more than the U.S. Players who clinch their first individual gold medal for the city-state stand to receive 1 million Singapore dollars ($737,000). The prize money is taxable and awardees are required to return a portion of it to their national sports associations for future training and development.
The country sent only 23 athletes to Tokyo.
The sporting economy in the U.S. allows athletes to better monetize their talents as most of it is driven by the private sector, according to Unmish Parthasarathi, founder and executive director at consulting firm Picture Board Partners.
In places like Singapore, India and elsewhere, many of the national sporting…