Often when we think about the Olympics, we assume a bunch of hot, talented people gather in one location to compete for some pieces of gold, silver and bronze. Well, it’s exactly like that, but they also get a fair bit of cash money for their winners as well. So it’s even better than you thought.

Yep, every country that competes in the Olympics has their own set of rules about how much their Olympians will get paid if they win a medal at the games.

Some countries like to splurge on their discus throwers and high jumpers, while others like to gently reward them with a 10K pat on the back. In the words of ABBA, money, money, money.

So how much does an Aussie make at the Olympics? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than just a series of payouts per medal.

What non-medal money contributes to the Olympaycheck?

We will run with Olympaycheck because I reckon that it should be a real word. Moving on.

In a 2020 survey taken by the Australian Sports Foundation, it was found that half of our athletes who compete at higher levels (national or international) earn under $23,000 in a year after training costs and other expenses.

In order to close this gap up a little and give our sports stars an actual decent wage, the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) offers Aussies with winning potential grants of up to $17,500, according to Business Insider.

This includes the potential to perform well at the Paralympics, Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

In fact, there’s even a special section in the 2020-2021 Budget that specifies $136.3 million on reserve for our hot-shot athletes. Most of this goes towards Winter/Summer games payouts, which we will get to in a sec.

On top of all of this money hoopla, there are also beneficiaries who can give money to athletes to support them, and sponsorship deals, which are available to athletes to negotiate, albeit limited by the International Olympics Committee.

How much is the Olympayout for winning a medal?

Alrighty, now that we know how much non-medal money an athlete can earn, let’s get into the exciting stuff.

Thanks to the Australian Olympic Committee Medal Incentive Funding program, Aussies get a handsome sum of money per medal they snag at one of the games.

Gold is $20K, silver is $15K and bronze is $10K.

Yes, this does mean Emma McKeon with her four gold and three bronze, has made $110k from medals alone. Her Olympaycheck will also include a grant (if she was given one), any sponsorships she may have, and her other non-Olympics earnings throughout the year.

While you may think that’s a fucktonne of cash, what McKeon earned with a record-breaking seven medals is pretty close to what a US Olympian can earn with just two.

The US hands out $50K ($67K AUD) for gold, $30K ($40K AUD) for silver and $20K ($27K AUD) for bronze. So yeah, even their bronze medals payout more than our gold. Ouch.

Singapore on the other hand has a hefty $1M payday for gold winners, which roughly converts to… oh yeah… one million dollarydoos. Winner winner, cheque and dinner, I guess.

Then we have Taiwan, which says “no thanks” to the idea of podium payouts, and hands out cash to their Olympians from first to eighth place. It’s not the victory that matters, but the effort.

However, there’s still a $20M payout for gold ($970K AUD), which trickles all the way down to $900K for eighth place ($43K AUD). So yeah, not a bad time for the Olympians there.

So yeah, that’s how much the Olympians make, and it’s a hell of a lot more than I imagined.

Brb, going to practice my 3m springboard diving technique. Maybe I’ve got a shot at at least $10K.

Image: Getty Images / James Chance