How Much Do Olympic Athletes Make?


Quick Answer

Olympic athletes do not make a salary, but that doesn't mean they don't earn money. The U.S. Olympic Committee awards prize money to Americans who earn medals. American medalists earned $25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

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Full Answer

Athletes who win Olympic medals also make money through commercial endorsements. After winning medals in the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games, American swimmer Ryan Lochte secured endorsement deals with Gatorade, Nissan and Proctor and Gamble. Forbes magazine estimates Lochte earned $2.3 million in endorsements, as of July 2012.

The amount of money an athlete earns through endorsements depends on the popularity of the sport and the athlete. All the money an athlete receives is subject to U.S. income tax laws.

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