How Much Does the US Pay Olympic Gold Medal Winners?
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How Much Does the US Pay Olympic Gold Medal Winners?

Winning gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympic games doesn't just give athletes fame, prestige, and permanent proof that they're best in the world — most countries also pay competitors who bring home medals. For example, the United States pays gold medal winners $25,000.

Wetpaint Entertainment teamed up with Viggle to see if Olympics fans knew how much winning gold is worth for American athletes. It turns out many viewers weren't quite sure of the answer; Viggle LIVE! users were split fairly evenly. 37 percent answered correctly, with 33 percent guessing it was $50,000, and 30 percent optimistically thinking winners would get a $100,000 pay day.

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Those who guessed higher numbers weren't entirely off base — while the US "only" shells out $25,000 per gold, other countries go much higher. For instance, Russian winners get $113,200, as well as regional and private bonuses, and Italian winners are rewarded with $189,800.

Unsurprisingly, some countries that don't often bring home gold really reward the athletes who pull it off. Kazakhstan gives winners $250,000, Latvia gives $192,800, and Malaysia has a solid gold bar on offer which is worth $600,000 — too bad no Malaysian has taken home gold since 1956.

And before you complain that US athletes are getting ripped off, here's another interesting fact: Great Britain doesn't pay its winners at all!

Rebecca Martin is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars, and genre TV expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

02.13.2014 / 12:00 AM EDT by Rebecca Martin
Related: Viggle, Features, Olympics

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