Olympians shouldn’t pay for medals

Olympians shouldn’t pay for medals

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To the Editor:

I am in the fifth grade at West Tisbury Elementary School on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. A few weeks ago, I came into school and told my teacher that I thought it was wrong that U.S. Olympic athletes have to pay up  to $9,000 for a gold medal. My teacher didn’t believe me. Neither did the other teacher in fifth grade. So I went home and told my dad, and my dad contacted my teacher. Now she knows that all U.S. medal winners at the Olympics have to pay for their medals. I don’t think that most Americans know this, and I don’t think that most Americans would agree with this. I think you should put this on the national news because the Olympics are currently on TV, and it is very newsworthy. Please run a piece on the the cost of Olympic medals for our U.S. athletes. Maybe we can change the system.

Maria Frangos

West Tisbury


  1. Ms. Frangos, I hesitate to explain, as I am impressed by the quality of your letter. However, I believe you may have accidentally been misled and I think you would be pleased to know the truth.

    Olympians are paid by the government for winning medals–they don’t pay for them. However, Olympians *do* need to pay taxes on their “medal earnings.” Those taxes can approach about 9,000 or 10,000. In other words, the government gives an award and (just like many such payments by various folks) they are subject to tax on it. Overall, they still get money even after paying taxes (the taxes are always less than what they get paid for winning a medal.)

    I hope you find that reassuring.

  2. They get 25000 for a gold and 15000 for a silver and so on and they pay taxes on it still leaving them some money. More importantly they often get endorsements bringing them more wealth. Good letter though. Maybe you can research how much of our money is confiscated by our government and then wasted.

  3. Thanks for the heads up on this issue. Congress tried to pass a bill to exempt the medals from taxes but it didnt pass. Too bad a medal winner has to give up his medal to pay US taxes.