Gold, Silver, Bronze
Sochi, Russia – The Winter Olympic games of 2014 have been over for awhile now, but many people all over the world are still questioning aspects of them. Among these questions is the alleged dishonesty of the judges (the evidence of which seems overwhelming), and Russia’s decision to give each of its medalists a new Mercedes-Benz and a large sum of money. The cars were decorated with the Russian Olympic team logo.
Each of Russia’s 13 gold medalists were given a Mercedes GL-Class SUV (worth $146,000) in addition to $120,000 in cash. The 11 silver medalists were awarded with a Mercedes ML-Class (worth $99,500) and $76,000. In addition to this, the 9 bronze medalists drove away in their Mercedes GLKs (worth $59,500) with $52,000.
The Russian Olympians Foundation, a not-for-profit organization set up in 2005, is the entity that awarded the cars. Although Russia had only 33 medalists in these Winter Olympics, The Moscow Times reports that 45 new cars were presented altogether. The paper also neglects to report the cash amounts the athletes received in addition to their cars.
Any athlete who was not yet old enough to drive was given a designated driver along with the car.
Russia vs. The United States…and a pig named Sochi
It looks as though the Russian athletes made out like bandits compared to their U.S. counterparts. Yahoo! News reported the following:
“For comparison’s sake, the United States Olympic Committee pays its winners $25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver medal and $10,000 for a bronze medal. Kazakhstan leads the medal payment rate at $250,000 for a gold, but has not had a gold medalist in the Winter Olympics in 20 years.
Of course, not all athletes benefit quite so handsomely. Dario Cologna of Switzerland won two golds in cross-country skiing. His reward from is hometown? A pig, which he named ‘Sochi’”
I don’t think a U.S. athlete would take their prize money with disappointment. After all, aspiring Olympians commonly turn down very handsome and lucrative offers to remain eligible to compete in the Olympics. We can only hope that Cologna is just as happy with his new pet.