View Full Version : Do Olympic athletes recceive a stipend?
02-11-2006, 12:40 PM
I assume it varies per country, so I'll ask specifically about U.S. competitors. Answers re: other nations are welcome too though.
Do the athletes receive a stipend so that they have 'walking around' money to take in the sites, buy souveniers, etc.?
I can't find out the stipend that the USOC gives participants, but I'm certain there is one. There also bonuses for winning medals. Also the USOC can subsidize training and also provide health insurance to athletes, especially in sports that don't make a lot of money (or any money) like archery.
It ain't cheap to get to the Olympics.
02-11-2006, 02:21 PM
I wonder if Visa issues them credit cards?
02-12-2006, 11:08 AM
Since you didn't state whether you were interested in ancient or modern Olympians, I'll answer for the ancients. Victors in the ancient Olympics - there was only first place - got no monetary reward from the event itself. All they received was an Olive Wreath or Laurel, Pine, depending on the site of the games - there were four sites, Olympia, being the most renowned and prestigious. However, the victor's city did provide him (99% of ancient Olympian victors were male) with financial reward. Athens, for example, provided extensive monetary reward, a triumphal procession, as well as a life-long meal ration. A great book to consult for information about the ancient Olympics is Stephan Millers' Ancient Greek Athletics.
As for modern Olympics, it does very much depend on the country. I know Canada has a sliding scale and rewards victory. The problem with giving finanical support to winners is that in many sports, by the time the next Olympics roles around, they are in the upper age echelons of competitors.
02-12-2006, 11:16 AM
I'm asking about the modern games.
What I was getting at was not performance rewards. A winner is going to get tons of endorsements offers. What I'm wondering about is whether the athletes get 'walking around money'. Suppose they want to go to a nightclub or out to dinner. Or they want to go shopping; perhaps for a souvenier, or clothes, or whatever. Think of the vacations offered by contests. they often include spending money as well as airfare and accommodations. People can spend as much as they like, but the contest only gives them a certain amount. So anything more comes out of their own pockets.
So do athletes get a per diem so that they have some money to spend? Or does all money they want to spend come out of their own pockets?
02-12-2006, 12:18 PM
Based on the link below it seems stipends and the like are administered differently for each sport and doled out by that sport's governing body. I assume amounts and details differ but I really do not know.
2006 USAS/USOC ATHLETE SUPPORT GRANTS PROGRAM
I. USAS/USOC ATHLETE SUPPORT PROGRAM
A. The objective of USA Shooting’s Athlete Support Program is to assist elite level shooters with training and competition needs in their quest to sustain international competitive excellence. The 2006 Athlete Support Program is designed to support athletes that have actively committed to skill development and the goal of excellence in the 2008 Olympic Games.
B. The grant program for 2006 consists of a combination of Competitive Program Grants, Stipend Grants for proven performers, Incentive Grants, Elite Athlete Health Insurance (EAHI), and Operation Gold Grants. The USA Shooting Grant Committee will administer this program.
Then there is this which seems to support that it is handled by each sport's governing body.
Determined to find a method through which U.S. athletes could generate financial support to offset training expenses and earn some income, Moses helped to persuade The Athletics Congress to advocate the liberalization of the international and Olympic eligibility rules by adopting a revolutionary concept to provide revenue through an Athletes Trust Fund program. The Trust Fund would enable athletes to create accounts administered by their respective sport bodies, within which government or privately supplied stipends, direct payments, and moneys derived from commercial endorsements could be deposited and periodically drawn from by an athlete for training and other expenses without jeopardizing their Olympic eligibility.
In 1979, Moses took a leave of absence from his job with General Dynamics to devote himself full time to running. In the next two years, he was instrumental in reforming international and Olympic eligibility rules. At his urging, an Athletes Trust Fund program was established to allow athletes to benefit from government- or privately-supplied stipends, direct payments, and commercial endorsement money without jeopardizing their Olympic eligibility. Moses presented the plan to Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the International Olympic Committee, and the concept was ratified in 1981. This fund is the basis of many Olympic athlete subsistence, stipend and corporate support programs, including the United States Olympic Committee's Direct Athlete Assistance Programs.
This sounds like an athlete who doesn't have a lot of money of his/her own can ask the USOC for a stipend. Some of them, like Bode Miller or Sasha Cohen, are probably wealthy enough already to have enough money to take care of themselves. The Olympic Villages do provide food and entertainment for all the athletes. (Oh and stuff like shelter too.)
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