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Medal bonuses - How much money Olympic athletes really makeMedal bonuses

Arguably the easiest way for Olympic athletes to make money at the actual Games is to bring home a gold, silver, or bronze medal. Many countries, the United States included, provide payouts to Olympians for the medals they win. In 2012, CNBC cited Italy as the country with the world's highest payout, offering its athletes $182,400 for each gold medal. Russia was runner-up with a $135,000 golden bonus, and France placed third at $65,200 per gold. Great Britain offered no medal bonus to its winning athletes.

The U.S. government does not technically pay its athletes for Olympic hardware. Instead, a non-profit called the United States Olympic Committee foots the bill. The committee will reportedly pay U.S. Olympians $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze medals in 2016, according to Forbes. The government then comes in and taxes those bonuses.

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