How Much a Medalist Makes and Other Fun Money Facts About the Olympics

A visitor walks along the beach near the Olympic Rings in Gangneung, South Korea
A visitor walks along the beach near the Olympic Rings in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Lee Jin-man/AP Photo


When the 2018 Winter Olympic Games begin February 9, 2018, I’ll be parked in front of my television to take in all the action.

Like many fans, I’ll be dreaming of what it‘d be like to land a triple axel jump in figure skating or scream down the luge track on a hyped up sled with no brakes.

While shopping for affordable snacks to munch on during the events, I got to wondering about the costs associated with the Olympics.

Check out what I learned:

  1. The Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium cost $109 million to build and will only be used four times.
  2. This year’s figure skating costumes cost between $1,000 to $5,000.
  3. You can buy your very own Polo Ralph Lauren Team USA closing ceremony pants for $398.
  4. Fans can watch some coverage for free with NBC’s online streaming feed or a digital antenna, or see all of NBC’s coverage live or on demand with a $39.99 per month Hulu with Live TV subscription.
  5. NBC paid almost $1 billion for the rights to the 2018 Games and will spend another couple hundred million on its production.
  6. A trip to see the 2018 Winter Olympics in person would set you back an estimated $4,683.
  7. It costs $100,000 per year to train a U.S. Olympic skier and each athlete must contribute $30,000 of their own money to help cover expenses.
  8. The least costly Winter Olympics were held in Innsbruck, Austria, for $22 million. The 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, are expected to cost about $12.9 billion.
  9. Most U.S Olympic athletes don’t get paid to train or compete but they get a bonus from the United States Olympic Committee for winning a medal ($25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $5,000 for bronze) – and they have to pay federal income tax on it!

Since I only spent about 10 bucks for salsa and mocktails, I’m perfectly content sitting in my warm living room and watching the action from 7,500 miles away.

Go Team U.S.A.!

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She never pursued becoming an Olympic athlete it would have required her to be exponentially less lazy than she actually is.

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