Thursday, 28 August 2008

Olympics- How they get paid

Still not letting go of the Olympics, it's common now for each of the country's to reward their athletes handsomely. Here in Kenya the Government made its commitment before the athletes left as a way of motivating them and at least holding onto them a little longer than has been the case in previous years. As a country, we have suffered one of the highest number of defectors with most going to the Arabian peninsula. One of our silver medallist, Bernard Lagat left for the US after fancing better chances and lucrative endorsement deals ( though he said it was borne out of the wish to live with his family .....)
Our Kenyan brothers and sisters will earn;
Gold- KShs. 1.75 million ( approx. US$ 25,300)
Silver- KShs. 1.25 million( approx.US$ 18,100)
Bronze- KShs. 0.58 million(approx US$ 8,405)
This is in addition to bonuses from major corporate organisations in the country. That's some loot to carry home !
Looking at other countries; India's run away with the highest prize money for a gold medal winner....some KShs. 30 m it is !. This comes against a backdrop of poor performances in the recent past in traditional sports like hockey -both men and women. The world's largest democracy also feels it can entice its huge population into sports not just team sports and traditional non-Olympic games such as cricket but also the main Olympic disciplines.

Russia is second on the list with the gold medallist taking home at least KShs. 10 million ( € 100,000 -approx US$ 147,894). This goes a long way to see why they will remain top performers for sometime. Again the country's had a dip in performance since the break-up of the USSR which almost always topped the standings switching places once in awhile with the US.
Read this for a further break-down.
The US in the meantime compares with the Kenyan government except that it the US Olympics Committee which gives these and also the endorsements and future earnings are almost too god to be true.
Here's an interesting bit on the current 200m men's bronze medallist who had rejected any endorsements before the Olympics for hope of a better deal after the Games. Walter Dix's qualifies. Well he almost scored one there !

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