When you have as many Olympic medals as you do fingers, that’s a sign of success. As Team USA swimmer Katie Ledecky added to her medal total at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she also added to her bank account.
For those unaware, each country offers financial bonuses to their athletes for medaling. For example, this year, athletes are earning $37,500 for a gold medal. Meanwhile, a silver medal pays out $22,500 and a bronze pays out $15,000. Not too shabby of an incentive for America’s best athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
However, that number has changed year by year. The prize money for the 2016 Rio Games was double the amount of this year’s Games. In 2012, Olympians received $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze, per rferl.org.
So with those three Olympic games in mind, all of which saw Katie Ledecky participating, how much has the Team USA star swimmer won?
Thanks to a report from USA Today in 2016, and doing some math from this year and 2012’s awards, Katie Ledecky has now accrued at least $500,000 through medal bonuses alone.
Considering her impressive legacy, it’s safe to say she’s earned it.
2020 Tokyo Olympics: Katie Ledecky Credits Grandmas for Inspiration
We all have someone in our life that inspires and guides us. Whether it’s through their words or actions, our elders play a monumental role in how we learn and progress through life.
Katie Ledecky knows this first hand. While wrapping up her time at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics games, she sat down with NBC to discuss this year’s performances. One part of the conversation focused in on her grandmothers, who she says are crucial to who she is.
“I knew that my family was going to bring me a lot of joy if I thought of them,” Ledecky explained. “So, I was thinking about my grandparents a lot. I knew that with each stroke, if I was thinking of them, then I could tough it out no matter what.”
Having a tether to something positive is crucial in high-pressure situations like the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. For Ledecky, it’s not just joy that her grandmas bring her, it’s also perspective.
“Yeah, so, both of my grandmothers are still alive. One is in her high 80s and the other is in her mid-90s,” Ledecky replied. “So, they’re tough and they are incredible women. I can’t wait to see them when I get back to the states. I haven’t seen them in a while because of the pandemic and not being able to travel.”
The chance to win gold is incredible enough. The opportunity to share it with those who mean the most to you is something else entirely.
“I was just thinking of how excited I would be to be able to show them a gold medal,” she said. “That’s what I was working toward.”