How Much Do Olympians Get Paid?
— 5 August 2021

How Much Do Olympians Get Paid?

— 5 August 2021
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

When the Philippines secured its historic first gold medal in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics thanks to weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, a number of reports followed soon after, revealing the national hero had also earned a grand total of ₱33 million Philippine pesos (AU$888,850), two free houses, as well as a lifetime of free flights courtesy of AirAsia. Naturally, this development stoked a fair amount of curiosity among the public, leading many to ask: how much do Olympians get paid?

Granted, Diaz is quite an extraordinary case, hence all the grabby headlines. Initially, in terms of money alone, she was only set to pocket ₱10 million – approximately AU$270,000 – from the country’s Sports Commission. That was until tycoons Manny Pangilinan and Ramon Ang each pledged an additional ₱10 million incentive. The ₱3 million cherry on top came from House Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero.

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Australia, however, offers far less Olympic medal prize money relative to other nations. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the non-profit Australian Sports Foundation discovered just under half of the 521 athletes questioned were “teetering on the brink of retirement“, taking home less than $23,000 a year.

“It was quite shocking,’’ says Patrick Walker, CEO of Australian Sports Foundation.

“It is a real burden for the athletes, but I don’t think the public understands that. Apart from a small handful, these guys are on the breadline.”

According to The Daily Telegraph, the perfect example can be illustrated with decorated swimming legend, Emma McKeon. For her record result of four gold medals and three bronze medals in Tokyo, she’ll only be receiving $112,500. If she were competing for Singapore, that same result would net her a far more considerable $4,773,000.

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“I know how hard it is – I have been there – but rather than whinge, I want to be part of the solution,’’ says Natalie Cook, Olympic gold medallist in beach volleyball and President of the Queensland Olympic Council.

“And I’m calling on everyone to come together and update a system which was put in place for the Sydney Olympics but must be upgraded, particularly for Brisbane 2032.”

“It would be different if our support along the way was on a par with the rest of the world but we are so far behind. The softball girls had to pay to go to the Olympic selection camp in Sydney. There is no health cover, no sick pay, no super – and if you get injured you can lose your funding.”

Check out the global comparison regarding how much Olympians get paid below.

How much do Olympians get paid around the world? [Tokyo 2021 Medal Prize Money]

**Converted to AUD – rounded up / down where appropriate

  1. Singapore
    Gold: $1,005,000
    Silver: $503,000
    Bronze: $251,000

  2. Indonesia
    Gold: $1,008,000
    Silver: $511,000
    Bronze: $254,000

  3. Hong Kong
    Gold: $840,000
    Silver: $435,000
    Bronze: $218,000

  4. Thailand
    Gold: $417,000
    Silver: Unknown
    Bronze: Unknown

  5. Kazakhstan
    Gold: $337,000
    Silver: $203,000
    Bronze: $101,000

  6. Azerbaijan
    Gold: $335,000
    Silver: $168,000
    Bronze: $84,000

  7. Malaysia
    Gold: $326,000
    Silver: $98,000
    Bronze: $29,000

  8. Italy
    Gold: $287,000
    Silver: $144,000
    Bronze: $96,000

  9. Philippines
    Gold: $270,000
    Silver: $134,000
    Bronze: $54,000

  10. Hungary
    Gold: $226,000
    Silver: $170,000
    Bronze: $129,000

  11. France
    Gold: $87,000
    Silver: $34,000
    Bronze: $20,000

  12. Russia (ROC)
    Gold: $82,000
    Silver: $51,400
    Bronze: $35,000

  13. Brazil
    Gold: $64,000
    Silver: $38,500
    Bronze: $26,000

  14. Japan
    Gold: $61,000
    Silver: $24,500
    Bronze: $12,000

  15. United States of America
    Gold: $50,000
    Silver: $30,400
    Bronze: $20,300

  16. South Africa
    Gold: $50,000
    Silver: $26,000
    Bronze: $9,500

  17. Netherlands
    Gold: $48,000
    Silver: $36,000
    Bronze: $24,000

  18. Germany
    Gold: $30,000
    Silver: $23,000
    Bronze: $15,000

  19. Canada
    Gold: $22,000
    Silver: $16,000
    Bronze: $11,000

  20. Australia
    Gold: $20,400
    Silver: $15,400
    Bronze: $10,300

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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