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Which Countries Award the Highest Olympic Medal Bonus?

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Top Olympic Medal Bonuses

The Briefing

  • The IOC doesn’t pay athletes anything, but some home countries award handsome medal bonuses for winners
  • Singapore shells out SGD$1 million ($737K) for its gold medalists—nearly 20 times what the U.S. pays for the same achievement

Which Countries Award the Highest Olympic Medal Bonus?

For many of the world’s top athletes, simply representing their country at the Olympic Games is considered an honor.

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) partly reinforces this, as it doesn’t pay its participating sportspeople anything.

But for those athletes going for the gold, silver, and bronze, the sweet sense of achievement that comes with winning a medal is sometimes accompanied by a big check—though these prizes don’t come from the IOC either.

The Winners Take It All

For placing at the podium and bringing home a medal, some countries promise their athletes significant bonuses—shooting as high as a six-figure range. For winning a gold medal, athletes from Singapore can earn up to SGD$1 million, or about $737,000.

This reward is nearly 20 times the $37,500 that U.S. athletes pocket for the same achievement. However, the immense difference in payout makes sense if you consider what’s at stake. The U.S. typically dominates the leaderboard every year, and sheer numbers are a big part of this.

At Tokyo 2020, Singapore only had 23 athletes representing the city-state across 12 events. In comparison, the U.S. brought along the biggest contingent of 657 athletes participating in 44 events.

Here are the 12 countries that boast largest monetary bonuses per medal:

CountryGoldSilverBronze
🇸🇬 Singapore$737,000$369,000$184,000
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan$250,000$150,000$75,000
🇲🇾 Malaysia$236,000$71,000$24,000
🇮🇹 Italy$213,000$107,000$71,000
🇵🇭 The Philippines$200,000$99,000$40,000
🇭🇺 Hungary$168,000$126,000$96,000
🇧🇷 Brazil$49,000$29,000$20,000
🇯🇵 Japan$45,000$18,000$9,000
🇺🇸 U.S.$37,500$22,500$15,000
🇿🇦 South Africa$37,000$19,000$7,000
🇨🇦 Canada$16,000$12,000$8,000
🇦🇺 Australia$15,000$11,000$7,000

Correction: Another country that recently announced it would pay its athletes handsomely is Indonesia—a 5 billion rupiah cash reward translates into $349,000 for winning gold.

In several of these countries, these USD-value wins translate to even higher earnings back home. For example, $1 is equivalent to nearly 425 Kazakhstani tenge, or about 50.5 Philippine pesos.

Hidilyn Diaz of The Philippines won her country’s first ever gold medal at Tokyo 2020, in the women’s 55kg weightlifting category. At Rio 2016, she also historically broke a 20-year dry spell for the nation and won a silver medal.

Another way that athletes can gain value from winning a medal is by scoring endorsements with major brands. Often, these deal amounts far surpass any medal bonus—U.S. gymnast Simon Biles earns at least $5 million annually from sponsorships alone.

Some Strings Attached

Why do countries award such big medal bonuses? When a country’s athletics are not driven by the private sector, and instead funded by the government, these monetary rewards help to encourage a stronger sports culture.

In addition, the prize money is taxable in many cases—reinvesting the money into respective countries’ sports associations, and effectively giving back to the community.

Where does this data come from?

Source: CNBC
Notes: All figures are in USD unless otherwise noted.

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Can You Calculate Your Daily Carbon Footprint?

Discover how the average person’s carbon footprint impacts the environment and learn how carbon credits can offset your carbon footprint.

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The Briefing

  • A person’s carbon footprint is substantial, with activities such as food consumption creating as much as 4,500 g of CO₂ emissions daily.
  • By purchasing carbon credits from Carbon Streaming Corporation, you can offset your own emissions and fund positive climate action.

Your Everyday Carbon Footprint

While many large businesses and countries have committed to net-zero goals, it is essential to acknowledge that your everyday activities also contribute to global emissions.

In this graphic, sponsored by Carbon Streaming Corporation, we will explore how the choices we make and the products we use have a profound impact on our carbon footprint.

Carbon Emissions by Activity

Here are some of the daily activities and products of the average person and their carbon footprint, according to Clever Carbon.

Household Activities & ProductsCO2 Emissions (g)
💡 Standard Light Bulb (100 watts, four hours)172 g
📱 Mobile Phone Use (195 minutes per day)*189 g
👕 Washing Machine (0.63 kWh)275 g
🔥 Electric Oven (1.56 kWh)675 g
♨️ Tumble Dryer (2.5 kWh)1,000 g
🧻 Toilet Roll (2 ply)1,300 g
🚿 Hot Shower (10 mins)2,000 g
🚙 Daily Commute (one hour, by car)3,360 g
🍽️ Average Daily Food Consumption (three meals of 600 calories)4,500 g
*Phone use based on yearly use of 69kg per the source, Reboxed

Your choice of transportation plays a crucial role in determining your carbon footprint. For instance, a 15 km daily commute to work on public transport generates an average of 1,464 g of CO₂ emissions. Compared to 3,360 g—twice the volume for a journey the same length by car.

By opting for more sustainable modes of transport, such as cycling, walking, or public transportation, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Addressing Your Carbon Footprint

One way to compensate for your emissions is by purchasing high-quality carbon credits. 

Carbon credits are used to help fund projects that avoid, reduce or remove CO₂ emissions. This includes nature-based solutions such as reforestation and improved forest management, or technology-based solutions such as the production of biochar and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

While carbon credits offer a potential solution for individuals to help reduce global emissions, public awareness remains a significant challenge. A BCG-Patch survey revealed that only 34% of U.S. consumers are familiar with carbon credits, and only 3% have purchased them in the past.

About Carbon Streaming

By financing the creation or expansion of carbon projects, Carbon Streaming Corporation secures the rights to future carbon credits generated by these sustainable projects. You can then purchase these carbon credits to help fund climate solutions around the world and compensate for your own emissions. 

Ready to get involved?

>> Learn more about purchasing carbon credits at Carbon Streaming

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