The $820 prize for being best in the world! How Tokyo Olympics gold medals are worth a LOT less than you might think
- Tokyo’s gold medal is worth $265 more than it was at the 2018 Winter Olympics
- A Twitter sleuth did all the math, examining the composition of the medals
- Other Twitter users were shocked ‘an Olympic gold medal wouldn’t even cover my rent’
- ‘Replace Olympic medals with chocolate coins at this point,’ someone replied
- Silver medals are worth $415 and bronze not even $7 when melted down
An Olympic gold medal is priceless to athletes around the world – such as Team USA’s Lee Kiefer after winning the women’s foil individual – but cash it in for dollars and you’ll only get $820
An Olympic gold medal might be priceless to athletes around the world who train their whole lives to wear it around their necks – but cash it in and you’ll only get $820.
The coveted first-place award contains 550 grams of silver and just six grams of gold coating worth $466 and $353 respectively.
In fact, even that is $265 more than the medal was worth when the 2018 Olympics kicked off in PyeongChang despite having 30 grams less of silver.
For that we can thank inflation. Precious metals are worth much more today than they were three years ago.
Twitter sleuth and CNBC reporter Robert Hum did all the leg work, posting a table revealing the composition of an Olympic gold medal.
Surprised? You’re not the only one. Twitter user @CaucasianJames was too when he tweeted a screenshot of his Google search and said: ‘An Olympic gold medal wouldn’t even cover my rent.’
Twitter sleuth and CNBC reporter Robert Hum did all the leg work, posting a table revealing the composition of an Olympic gold medal
‘We gotta give them Teslas instead or something,’ he added.
James’s tweet shocked many others and one user replied: ‘LOL imagine training for the Olympics to get a worthless medal.’
‘Replace Olympic medals with chocolate coins at this point,’ another said.
Twitter user @CaucasianJames was too when he tweeted a screenshot of his Google search and said: ‘An Olympic gold medal wouldn’t even cover my rent’
Users joked that it ‘wouldn’t even cover Georgia’s speeding ticket’ and ‘my high school wanted more for a class ring’. The Olympics organizers were also called out for being ‘cheap’.
But it would be a completely different story if an athlete were to sell their medals, although it doesn’t happen often.
The Mirror revealed the record price for a gold medal sold at a public auction was for one won by boxer Wladimir Klitschko at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. It sold for $1million in 2012. The money went to Klitschko’s charity and the buyer even ended up giving the boxer his medal back as a sign of respect.
The first-place award contains 550 grams of silver and six grams of gold coating worth $466 and $353 respectively
Meanwhile, silver medals are comprised of 550 grams of the metal and are worth about $415 if you melted one down.
Bronze medals are made of an alloy of copper and zinc, and are worth less than $7 each.
Around 2,400 medals are given out at the Olympics and its the host country’s responsibility to make them. The bill comes to about $979,000.
Tokyo organizers employed the entire country to help them produce the medals and keep costs down. A national campaign recycled 80 tons of old mobile phones, laptops and other gadgets into 5,000 medals.
No wonder they also tweeted a cheeky reminder telling athletes the medals are ‘not edible’. When it comes to posing on the podium ‘you don’t have to bite them… but we know you still will,’ the tweet read.
Team USA walked away from the Tokyo Aquatics Center with gold after the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay. Zach Apple, Blake Pieroni, Bowen Becker and Caeleb Dressel (left to right) celebrated on the podium
Gymnast Sunisa Lee of Team USA posed with her gold medal during the podium ceremony of the artistic women’s all-around final