Prize money payouts: Olympic medalists are shortchanged

Except for the lucky few who have landed endorsement deals, athletes in winter Olympic sports are chronically underpaid, especially compared to their professional peers. A look at how they measure up.

Plenty of glory, not so much cash

sports salaries olympic rings sochi 2014

Starting Saturday, when competition commences at the Sochi Winter Games, U.S. athletes will spend the next 16 days fighting for Olympic glory ... and woefully little prize money.

Except for the lucky ones who have landed profitable endorsement deals, the athletes in winter favorites like downhill skiing, figure skating, and luge are chronically underpaid. That's in part due to monetary bonuses -- $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, $10,000 for bronze -- that the United States Olympic Committee has not increased in at least a decade. (Wach country's committee sets its own prize amounts, and payouts vary considerably.)

Those sums are measly in their own right, but when compared to other professional athletes, they're even more pathetic. Here's how other championship prize money measures up.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated February 04 2014 02:22 PM ET
Join the Conversation
More from Fortune
They're hiring!

These 24 companies on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list are each planning to fill 1,000 or more jobs in the coming year. We asked their recruiters for the inside scoop on how to get noticed and ace an interview.

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.