An Olympic gold medal isn’t actually solid gold– it’s silver, plated with gold. So many countries offer cold cash rewards to incentivize athletes to win.
The amount of money offered as medal bonuses varies from country to country. Singapore, for example, will pay a whopping $750,000 to its first gold medalist, swimmer Joseph Schooling, according to MarketWatch, citing data from Statista and Fox Sports. The British apparently didn’t need extra incentive. They came home from Rio with 67 medals (27 of them gold) even though the U.K. government offers exactly zero dollars as bonus.
So where does India stand on the reward spectrum?
The South Asian nation has an intricate matrix of rewards for athletes who win top spots in everything from the Olympic Games to the World University Games and the Deaflympics. A bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games, for example, earns athletes around $15,000. A silver medal from the International Blind Sports Association World Championship pays around $10,500.
Surprisingly, India is at the top end of the Olympic medal bonus payment rankings.
Any Olympian that comes home with a gold medal will get 7.5 million rupees or over $110,000. That’s more than offered by most rich countries including the U.S., France and Germany and close to 70 times India’s gross domestic product per capita.
India had no gold-medal winner at the 2016 Rio Olympics. But silver-medal winner P.V. Sindhu and bronze medalist Sakshi Malik are eligible to get around $75,000 and $45,000 respectively.
KRISHNA POKHAREL (The Wall Street Journal)