Search icon

World of Sport

30th Jul 2021

People are shocked after finding out how much an Olympic gold medal is actually worth

Kieran Galpin

Winning a gold medal is arguably one of the biggest accomplishments an athlete can acquire. However, besides immense bragging rights, the medal itself isn’t actually worth a lot. Twitter user @caucasianjames tweeted that the medal was only worth $820 (£588) and the world is both shocked and a little confused.

The medal itself is actually only 6g of gold, with the rest it being roughly 92.5 per cent silver. This year, the Tokyo medal is actually history-making in itself, as it’s actually made of recycled electronic materials. Tokyo was committed to a more sustainable Olympics, hence why the Olympic village is full of cardboard beds.

The Tokyo organising committee was also the first to consult the public in the design of the medals, via the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project. The new medals feature the Greek Goddess Nike on the front, who represents, personified victory.

However, because of their notoriety, gold medals do actually sell for an obscene amount of money. The current record price for a gold medal at a public auction was $1million in 2012 or around £720,000 currently.

Besides the glory, a semi-gold medal, and bragging rights amongst other athletes, some countries do reward winners with some interesting prizes.

For instance, Singapore currently awards their gold medalists $1,000,000, roughly 744,000 USD (£543K). The Japanese baseball team will receive an extra cash prize of £90k should they win their event.

South Korean gold medallists get to skip the mandatory military service, while Russia gives their athletes a cash bonus and a brand new car.

Most recently, Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the women’s weightlifting 55 kg at the Tokyo Olympics, setting an Olympic record with a clean and jerk of 124 kg and then lifting 127 kg.

But this time, Diaz won’t just be returning home with a shiny new necklace and a comfortable cash prize. Bloomberg reports that the athlete shall receive $660,000 (33 million pesos) in cash prizes from the Filipino government, but it doesn’t stop there. For her victory, she will be given a house in Tagaytay courtesy of Philippines Olympic president Abraham Tolentino, as well as a luxury $280,000 (14 million peso) condo in Eastwood City thanks to Chinese Filipino billionaire Andrew Lim Tan.

Related Links: