22 August, 2016
It's a complicated system of visibility and marketability where certain high-profile competitors - like women's gymnasts - almost always make millions off their gold medals, while athletes in less-popular sports need to have a compelling story: Win the 100-meter dash and you're declared the "fastest man/woman alive", which comes with a certain amount of earning power.
Is this New Zealand's most successful Olympics ever?
And here's something else.
With the medal count for the United States at a jaw-dropping 81 as I write this article, the biggest victor at the Rio Olympic Games, Uncle Sam, won't be making an appearance on the podium. The U.S. Olympic Committee pays athletes $25,000 for winning gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze; winners in the Paralympics get $5,000 for gold, $3,000 for silver and $2,000 for bronze.
"The athletic skills every athlete possess are half owned by the state", wrote one user on the WeChat messaging service cited by the Global Times. Americans for Tax Reform has drafted a petition to urge the House of Representatives to follow.
But what happens when we take a look at where these medal-winning American athletes hail from? Chuck Schumer, a co-sponsor of the bill.
This had big consequences for the careers of many athletes.
At the beginning of the Olympics, Lochte's time in Rio looked like it was going to be commemorated by his icy blue-platinum hairdo or his 12 medals tied for second most in US history.
On Twitter, ?@Eddieca11486276 wrote: "No!"
In the early days of the games, Chinese media sought to play down the athletes' relatively poor showing, instead praising their competitive spirit and arguing that medals were not "the be-all and end-all of the Olympics".
"They let down our athletes", Blackmun said.
That estimate is based on the $2m that she has accumulated in endorsement deals and assuming she is charged in the highest income tax bracket in the United States - 39.6%.
Ranking: Bronze. While Yuanhui's ebullient expressions more than qualify her for a meme medal, her ability to keep it 100 when being interviewed clinched her spot in Olympic history.
Fans hold the flag of China during a women's gold medal volleyball match between China and Serbia at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016. "All we know is there was a gun pointed in our direction and we were demanded to give money". De Jong did not say how much the fine will be.
If you went just by medal count, you would decide that swimmers and gymnasts were the best athletes in the world, and would have to reconcile Ryan Lochte being better than Michael Johnson.
There are more events in swimming and events where there is crossover in who participates.
"At my corporate job, I'm taxed on any bonus and reward given to me by my employer, even if the reward is an item instead of money", Ruth B. wrote.
In women's basketball, the United States is one win away to their sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal as it beat France 86-67 in the semi-final.
"For Sydney, I just wanted to make the team". In this manner, it is calculated that a gold medal carries a value of $564 and silver comes to $305. We all have to step up and meet our financial obligations, including the one to Uncle Sam.
Cate Campbell, Mitch Larkin, and Emily Seebohm are among the highest profile athletes who failed to turn pre-Olympic expectations into gold.
In an editorial, the Beijing News argued that people should still care about success because the country had made an investment in their team.