Starting Saturday, when competition commences at the Sochi Winter Games, U.S. athletes will spend the next 16 days fighting for Olympic glory ... and woefully little prize money.
Except for the lucky ones who have landed profitable endorsement deals, the athletes in winter favorites like downhill skiing, figure skating, and luge are chronically underpaid. That's in part due to monetary bonuses -- $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, $10,000 for bronze -- that the United States Olympic Committee has not increased in at least a decade. (Wach country's committee sets its own prize amounts, and payouts vary considerably.)
Those sums are measly in their own right, but when compared to other professional athletes, they're even more pathetic. Here's how other championship prize money measures up.