Kazakhstan pays 10 times what U.S. does for a gold medal

Standing on the podium during the medal ceremony is the immediate and obvious reward for Olympic greatness. However, many countries will further compensate their athletes in the form of monetary bonuses if they are able to reach that podium during the Sochi Olympics.

The U.S. Olympic Committee pays $25,000 to gold-medal winners, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze, but that pales in comparison to many other countries, and the American payouts have not changed in a decade, according to Yahoo Sports.

Kazakhstan offers $250,000 to any athlete who wins a gold medal in Sochi, the most of any of the 26 countries to earn a medal four years ago in Vancouver, according to Bloomberg. Other countries that offer rewards in the six figures include fellow ex-Soviet state Latvia, which offers $192,800 for gold, Italy at $189,800, Belarus at $150,000 and Estonia at $138,500. Athletes from these five countries won just two gold medals and 12 medals overall in Vancouver.

Host nation Russia also pays out handsomely at $113,200 for gold, as well as $70,800 for silver and $48,000 for bronze.

In addition to the U.S., other Winter Olympic powerhouses tend to offer lower bonuses than less-successful nations. Germany pays gold medalists $20,300 and Canada awards $17,900. Croatia, Norway, Sweden and Great Britain do not offer cash bonuses to medalists despite combining for 38 medals, including 15 gold, four years ago.

SOURCES: Bloomberg, Yahoo Sports

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