Olympians Have To Pay Federal Taxes On Their Medals

Olympian Simone Biles, earning her 4th gold medal this week in Rio.
Olympian Simone Biles, earning her 4th gold medal this week in Rio.

*Simone Biles is bringing home mucho oro from the Olympics in Rio…

(that’s “a lot of gold”…thank you, Rosetta Stone!)

…but Uncle Sam will be expecting his cut after she gets back.

I guess I should have known. Lottery winners often pay hefty taxes on cash prizes. But I guess I figured that after athletes like Biles gave their blood, sweat and tears to beat out every other athlete in the world in their sport of choice, the US government could give them a break on the tax bill.


It seems that in addition to the gold, silver, and bronze medals awarded to Olympians, cash awards are also dispensed. Big ones: $25,000 for gold medals, $15,000 for silvers, and $10,000 for bronze ones.

With maximum taxes that look like this…

$9,900 for gold

$5,940 for silver

$3,960 for bronze

…Biles can look forward to paying the federal government up to $43,560 in income taxes for her four gold and single bronze medals!  Superstar swimmer Michael Phelps could be looking at a tax bill as high as $55,000!

Don’t cry for them, though. I’ve learned that old boy is worth approximately $55 million. And even if Biles was flat broke when the Olympics started, she made money on the medals so she should have the liquid assets to pay her tax bill. And hopefully, she’ll have an endorsement or two to look forward to — and maybe even a Wheaties box.

But damn! Income taxes for Olympic medals? That’s enough to make a brutha just eschew physical activity altogether and head to Mickey D’s. (Like I needed an excuse.)


This blog was written from the drive-thru window at McDonalds by freelancer Michael P Coleman as he took a break in studying spanish.  He hasn’t decided on the sandwich, but he WILL be getting fries with that. Connect with him on Twitter: @ColemanMichaelP

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