While the financial rewards that come with winning an Olympic medal is a mere drop in the bucket for some of the athletes representing the United States in Rio, others are in situations where the monetary bonuses can provide a significant boost to their wallets. The U.S. Olympic Committee pays gold medal winners a bonus of $25,000, with silver medalists getting $15,000 and bronze medalists $10,000. Those winnings are taxed, so while an athlete with many endorsements and a high salary in their chosen sport may not have much of an issue paying the taxes, others who aren’t in that position stand to lose a considerable amount of money.
With that being the case Senator Charles Schumer of New York is urging the House of Representatives to make the prizes tax-exempt for future Olympians. This doesn’t do much good for those competing in Rio, as the bill was approved by the Senate but remains in the House as they’re on recess until September 6, but to say the least it would be a move appreciated by future Olympians.
The bill would also exempt prizes for Paralympic athletes. The exemption would not apply to commercial endorsements.
“Our Olympian and Paralympic athletes should be worried about breaking world records, not breaking the bank, when they earn a medal,” Schumer said.
While some athletes reap the rewards from product endorsements and professional sports salaries, many use the four-year period between Olympic Games to not only train and compete but raise the money needed for those endeavors as well. The money that comes with earning a medal can help those athletes handle the costs that come with the quest for an Olympic medal, and it can also help them plan for what’s next following the Olympics. And not having to plan on losing a certain percentage of those fund to “Uncle Sam” would only make the process that much more comfortable for them.