Here’s How Much Australia’s 2016 Olympic Medal Tally Cost Tax Payers [Infographic]

Here’s How Much Australia’s 2016 Olympic Medal Tally Cost Tax Payers [Infographic]

It’s fair to say that the Rio Olympics didn’t produce the results that the Australian Sport Commission was hoping for. The nation finished tenth on the medal table with a total medal haul of 29; our lowest finish at an Olympics since Barcelona in 1992. This was despite individual sports receiving tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer funding to boost our medal chances. This infographic breaks down precisely how much our Rio medal “haul” ended up costing Australians.

The infographic below was collated by The Conversation. As you can see, our medals won at the 2016 Olympics came at a tax payer cost of well over $150 million. To add insult to injury, some sports that received significant funding from the Australian Sport Commission didn’t bring home a single medal.

The weighted medal cost in the table was determined by weighting the medals won (where a bronze medal has a value of one, silver a value of two and gold a value of three), then dividing the total amount spent by the total weighted value of the medals. As you can see, some sports ended up costing $14 million per medal.

Of course, they say winning isn’t everything and just competing in the Olympics is a high honor — but when your training and development is partly funded by taxpayer dollars there is absolutely an expectation of a return on investment. For a deeper analysis of Australia’s Olympic funding snafus, read the original article on The Conversation.

[Via The Conversation]


  • I think you misunderstand what an “infographic” is.

    Hint: it is not a spreadsheet with some bland clipart thrown in.

      • By that standard a newspaper story with an accompanying photo is an infographic.

        An infographic conveys information graphically. It’s not information + graphics; it’s information via graphics.

  • China announced major cuts to its Olympics funding. They believe the win-at-all-costs obsession with Olympic gold medals has created a toxic culture (of cheating and corruption) that is contrary to the spirit of sport.

  • Olympics is such a waste of time and resources. Who cares who can swim the fastest. What is the take away from that? At least for formula 1, the car technology trickles down to normal cars, ie ABS. What’s the take away from swimming? Skimpier speedos and waxing techniques?

    Let’s not even start with how much food the athletes consume.

  • It would be nice to see someone look into exactly what all that money went into over the four year period. It’s not like we spent 2.4 mil to sent one archer (or four? it was a team event right?) to the games. If we are spending even half that amount on developing the sport within the country then that’s a good thing.

  • I think the Olympics should return to the roots of the games and be for Amatures only. The inclusion of professional athletes meant pressures from sponsors and from the general public are increased.

    Due to the funds recieved from professional leagues (like NBA and NHL) smaller countries cant even compete with a hope of winning.

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