Medalists will have to pay hefty taxes for standing on the podium in London. It's not the value of the medal itself that will require a separate line on this years tax returns, it's the tax on the prize money that comes with a gold, silver or bronze.
[ Photos: Close-ups of Olympic medals ]
The United States Olympic Committee rewards Olympic medalists with honorariums. A gold medal brings $25,000. Silver medals get you $15,000. And a bronze is worth $10,000.
The Weekly Standard, a conservative news magazine, ran the numbers and tabulated that the tax bill on a gold is $8,986, silver is $5,385 and bronze is $3,500.
They note that Missy Franklin, an amateur who has yet to cash in on her fame with endorsements, already owes $14,000 in taxes from her gold and silver medal. By the time the Games are finished, Franklin's tax bill could reach $30,000.
[ Related: The high price of raising an Olympian ]
Come on, government. I know you're as inflexible as the IOC and couldn't decide on pizza toppings unless a bipartisan commission deliberated for 13 days, but you can't make an exception to athletes representing our country in the biggest event in the world? It's not unheard of: Military members are exempt from taxes when they're deployed in a combat zone.
UPDATE: Florida senator Marco Rubio (R) reacted to the story on Wednesday, proposing a bill that would leave athletes exempt from the federal tax. ""Our tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success, and the tax imposed on Olympic medal winners is a classic example of this madness," he told reporters.
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