With many countries in the world facing financial difficulties, there is greater focus on how much money governments are spending on Olympic athletes or Olympic-related events.
Raising eyebrows, Italy is paying $182,400 to any Italian who wins a gold medal. That's the highest payout in the world.
The British press has raised questions about why a country that is struggling to cut its spending would be so generous. With four gold medals so far, Rome is on the hook thus far for almost $730,000.
Russia is promising paying nearly $135,000, while France paying $ 65,200. In the host country, Olympic athletes receive zero, meaning British cyclist Bradley Wiggins, and rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, all of whom won gold for Team GB will get pats on the back, and hopefully more endorsements.
Singapore, the world leader in Olympic payouts, gives far more, promising its champions a whopping $800,000. Kazakhstan is also a leader in the pecking order of cash prizes. Olga Rypakova, who won the women’s triple jump for Kazakhstan, will see $250,000 for her gold.
The United Kingdom is the only major medal-winner that does not offer cash incentives. South Africa just announced a prize of nearly $55,000. Mexico pays $37,000 for a gold medal—almost twice what Canada offers, which at $20,000 is among the lowest of international payouts.
China reportedly offers $31,400 to gold medal winners, while Japan rewards them with $35,900, Canada gives $20,000, and Germany, just less than that, at $19,500 for a gold.
In the U.S., gold medal winners get $25,000, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. This is not government money, it's paid by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Potential GOP Vice Presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio (R-FLA) has sponsored a bill that medal winning U.S. athletes shouldn't have to pay taxes on the money they receive.
Taxes on a gold medal could run as high as $8,986, while silver could be $5,385. On a bronze metal, the tax might be $3,500.
Amateur swimmer Missy Franklin, who is still in high school, will owe $14,000 in taxes for her gold and silver medals.