The 2012 Olympics comes to a close. The event has passed without any major drama. There was no false flag and no alien landing as many predicted.
The games have been a success and showed that Britain can comfortably handle an event of this size. The following days and weeks will be interesting, will they keep the arsenal of weapons and surveillance tech on streets?
I guess we will have to wait and see.
We saw amazing performances from the athletes. Usain Bolt and the blade runner being my most memorable competitors.
The medal result table:
As we wind down from the main event and get set for Paralympics the athletes return to their country of origin some return conquering heroes some just heroes for their participation.
We see USA topping the table their return should be a triumph but I feel it may be bitter sweet.
US athletes who won medals at the London 2012 Olympics are in for a disappointment: They will have pay taxes on their prize money. But some question if the Olympic medal should come with prize money at all?
When Kellogg stamped Gabby Douglas’s hard-to-forget smile on a box of corn flakes, the company kicked off a string of endorsement deals that will likely make her millions. But even without sponsors, the 16-year-old gymnast will leave London with $50,000, which is what pair of gold medals is worth in her home country.
Mostly made of silver with at least six grams of gold, a gold medal from the 2012 London Olympics is worth about $700. Taking the hard work, dedication, and sheer talent of its athletes into account, the U.S. has upped its assessment, at least with regard to what it will pay. Relatively modest compared with most of the world’s incentives; America pays $25,000 to gold winners, $15,000 to those who earn silver, and $10,000 for bronze.
Singapore, the world leader in Olympic payouts, gives far more, promising its champions a whopping $800,000. Kazakhstan is also a leader in the pecking order of cash prizes. Olga Rypakova, who won the women’s triple jump for Kazakhstan, will see $250,000 for her gold. Italy is nearly as generous, giving gold winners up to $182,000.
Awarded at a national level, these bonuses pale in comparison to the prizes local governments are giving. In addition to the $135,000 Russia promises its gold winners, media reports say the regional government of Chelyabinsk Oblast is offering $1,000,000. In China, rewards do not stop at cash. Local governments give everything from apartments to luxury cars—and in the case of 2008 weight-lifting champion Chen Xiexia, houses for her and for her parents.
Xiexia, who according to media reports won a national award of over $55,000, received double that from Guangdong Province, in addition to an Audi Q7. For the 51 gold medals China took home in 2008, it’s estimated that the country paid roughly $55,000 apiece, although the Chinese Olympic Committee has denied this number. The last bonuses China announced go back to 2004, when the country paid roughly $30,000, $18,800 and $12,500 for gold, silver, and bronze, respectively. China has not announced its award program for 2012, but Chinese-language Sports Weekly says athletes will probably receive about $51,000.
This year’s host country is a bit less generous. Great Britain is awarding no prize money to its medalists, but it will put their faces on Royal Mail stamps. Royalties from postage stamps can reach into the five figures, but unfortunately for tennis star Andy Murray or cyclist Chris Hoy, no Bentleys lie in store for Her Majesty’s best.
The United Kingdom is the only major medal-winner that does not offer cash incentives. The French pay gold medalists $65,000, while South Africa just announced a prize of nearly $55,000. Mexico pays $37,000 for a gold medal—almost twice what Canada offers, which at $20,000 is among the lowest of international payouts.
According to the US legislation earnings made by a US citizen abroad are liable for both local tax and US tax. Most countries have a “territorial” system of tax and apply that tax just once – in the country where it is earned.
Some think the US athletes are being punished for their success. Florida Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bill earlier this week that would eliminate tax on Olympic medals and prize money.
“Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn’t have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home,” said Rubio. This, he said, is an example of the “madness” of the US tax system.
The US Olympic Committee awards prize money amounting to $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze.
This money is considered taxable income by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
So an athlete on the highest rate of tax (35 per cent) could face a tax bill of $8,750, according to the advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The value of the medals themselves could be subject to tax too.
That adds a further $236 for gold, $135 for silver and $2 for bronze.
So, US swimmer Michael Phelps, who has already won two gold and two silver medals in London, would have to pay roughly $28,000 in tax.
Not all athletes get prize money along with an Olympic medal – it depends what country you come from.
The decision whether to offer money is made by the national Olympic Committees in each individual country, who also set the sum.
For instance UK medal winners get no prize money. Instead they are honored by appearing on a postage stamp. Whereas Singapore is offering $800,000 for a gold medal.
Russia is offering about $125,000 to each gold medalist while St. Petersburg officials promise their athletes about $33,000 for winning gold in London.
“Americans are focusing on the wrong issue”, says John Hoberman, a sports historian and expert on doping at the University of Texas. “Cash incentives are just an incentive to cheat.” The real question, he believes, is whether athletes should be awarded prize money at all at the Olympic Games.
What an amazing policy.
These athletes have put years of effort and dedication into their sport and training all so they can represent their country. There is a cost for this both in their personal and financial lives.
Most start their careers whilst attending a college this often puts them in the debtucation trap.
Seeing them taxed on their hard won prizes reflects the values in the US today. Money and the state are most important. You must pay your 40 pieces of gold in to the system an offering of thanks to a government that sees itself as god.
If we compare this to other countries we can really see the US attitude: What the working man sells is not directly his Labor, but his Laboring Power, the temporary disposal of which he makes over to the capitalist. This is so much the case that I do not know whether by the English Law, but certainly by some Continental Laws, the maximum time is fixed for which a man is allowed to sell his laboring power. If allowed to do so for any indefinite period whatever, slavery would be immediately restored. Such a sale, if it comprised his lifetime, for example, would make him at once the lifelong slave of his employer.
KARL MARX, Value, Price, and Profit