How much is a gold medal win worth?
Olympic Gold Medal Prize Money – Tokyo 2020
A gold medal at the Olympic Games is arguably the greatest prize in sport.
Luckily for golfers, they can now compete for gold, silver and bronze as the sport is back in the Olympics for the second time since 1904.
At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Justin Rose won gold for Team GB with Henrik Stenson winning silver for Sweden and Matt Kuchar taking the bronze for Team USA.
In the women’s tournament, Inbee Park won gold for South Korea, Lydia Ko won Silver for New Zealand and China’s Shanshan Feng won bronze.
So how much is a gold medal worth to the competitors?
There is actually no official prize money from the International Olympic Committee but some nations do pay their athletes for winning medals.
Many sports also receive funding from their countries, although most nations will fund golf through other areas like the R&A, USGA and other home unions.
Great Britain doesn’t offer any funding for golf in the Olympics and reportedly doesn’t pay for medals, so Rose will not have earned any prize money from his stunning Rio performance.
However, saying that, the boost in profile from the triumph may have netted him bonuses from his sponsors and may have also enticed new sponsors too.
The added profile of being Olympic champion may have also earned him appearance fees for playing in certain tournaments, as having the gold medallist play in your event is a selling point that can be used in marketing to help sell tickets and grow TV viewership numbers.
Related: Does Olympic golf really matter?
It is reported that the USA pays $37,500 to gold medals, $22,500 to silver medalists, and $15,000 for those who win bronze.
With huge multi-million dollar net worths, the likes of Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Reed will barely notice that cash if they were to win a medal.
For example, Morikawa won over $2m for his Open Championship victory and has accumulated over $14m on the PGA Tour alone since turning professional in 2019.
And that’s not taking into account any of his sponsorship revenue from the likes of TaylorMade, adidas, Omega, Zurich, Therabody, US Bank and Grant Thornton.
So a simple way of putting it is that there is no real prize money at the Olympic Games and that’s very rare in the rich world of golf.
The athletes are there competing for their countries and the greatest prize in sport – the gold medal.