Friday, August 12, 2016

What Is an Olympic Medal Worth These Days?

You know what?

Today being a beautiful Friday summer day and all, let’s forget about politics.

Let’s talk about something fun instead. Like the Olympics!

I love the Olympics. They’re pretty much the only time every two years that I wish I had cable. Otherwise, forget it. (Except for maybe NFL games between my Steelers and the evil Ravens. Though it’s probably better that way since I have a bad tendency of yelling at the TV.)

During the opening ceremonies, I watch all the flags I possibly can come out, cheering loudly for the U.S. and warmly welcoming Italy and the U.K. in honor of my ethnic heritage. After that, I zealously keep watch over the Olympic count to make sure the U.S. has the highest gold and overall medals.

After all, our athletes are awesome! I mean, can you imagine the work, dedication and sacrifice they put in just to qualify for the Olympics?  And with absolutely no guarantee of getting anything in return?

Now, of course, if they medal, they get a little something for their troubles. Along with national recognition and companies clamoring to pay them, the U.S. Olympic Committee awards its first, second and third-place participants with the following financial prizes:

Gold – $25,000
Silver – $15,000
Bronze – $10,000


So much for not talking about politics. I guess it’s impossible to escape them when they pervade – invade, really – every area of American life, from race to education, family, death, business, media, fitness, energy, international relationships, gender relationships… and yes, even the Olympics.

As a result, that gold medal could be worth $9,900 less after taxes.

Silver? If athletes can’t check off the right boxes, they’ll have to say bye-bye to $5,940 of it.

And bronze’s $10,000 can fall as much as $3,960.

The government just can’t encourage anyone, can it? Except, of course, itself.

Jerks.

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