Many people are unaware of it, but Olympic medal winners actually receive prize money in addition to their all-important piece of hardware. Winning a gold medal at the Olympics likely means you are going to cash in on endorsements at some point in the near future, but it also means taking home a cash prize of $25,000. Silver medal winners take home $15,000 and the prize is $10,000 for bronze. Well, we shouldn’t say “take home.” After all, this is the United States.
US Olympic medal winners have to pay taxes like the rest of us. According to the Weekly Standard, the tax bill after winning a gold is $8,986, silver is $5,385 and bronze is $3,500. US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) proposed a bill on Wednesday called The Olympic Tax Elimination Act that aims to change that.
“Our tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success, and the tax imposed on Olympic medal winners is a classic example of this madness,” said Rubio. “Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn’t have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home.
“We need a fundamental overhaul of our tax code, but we shouldn’t wait any time we have a chance to aggressively fix ridiculous tax laws like this tax on Olympians’ medals and prize money. We can all agree that these Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence should not be punished when they achieve it.”
If the bill is passed, US athletes who win medals after December 31, 2011 would not be taxed. While young stars like Missy Franklin who have tremendous personalities and are only 17 years old are going to make plenty of money during their Olympic careers, a tax on a medal won in London does feel like stealing money. It’s bad enough that the IOC makes rules like these telling athletes how they can market themselves during the Games.
H/T Fourth Place Medal
Photo Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports