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Russia Promises Big Bonus to Olympic Medal-winners

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December 8, 2013

Russian athletes who win gold medals at the Sochi Olympics will take home large cash prizes as well, the Russian Government has announced.

President Vladimir Putin has approved payouts of the equivalent of $122,000 for each gold medal won, with silver medalists getting $76,000 and bronze medalists taking home $46,000.

At the 2010 Winter Olympics, in Vancouver, Russian athletes won 15 medals, three of them gold. Both totals were well back of medal-count leaders the U.S., with 37, and Canada, with 14 gold.

Also, Putin suggested to organizers that workers not take their annual New Year holiday but instead focus on completing preparations for the Games, which begin February 7. Usual practice in Russia is to not work from December 31 to January 8, a day after which many Russians traditionally celebrate Orthodox Christmas.

Putin made the comments on a tour of Sochi, the Black Sea resort that will be the host for the Games. Much work still needs to be done, in construction of buildings and roads. The main stadium is expected to hold 40,000 people. Last week, organizers revealed a stash of backup snow, in case conditions are unseasonably mild.

About 120,000 visitors are expected during the two weeks that Winter Olympics traditionally won.

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