Discussion / debate topic for ESL students

Interesting article here arguing that the International Olympics Committee should “make sure that some of this money can go directly to the athletes.”

In other words, athletes from the USA have an advantage thanks to a $25,000 cash prize for winning a gold. The argument is that other athletes have to go home and work real jobs while athletes from richer countries just train all day. The less training time an athlete has the less even the playing field.

And the $25k seems generous, but in Korea a gold medal winner gets about double that plus a monthly salary for life even if she stops representing her country:

In addition, her annuity score rises from 24 to 114, meaning that she receives a monthly annuity equivalent to one million Won ($862 USD). Kim has been receiving a monthly annuity equivalent to 300,000 Won with the 24 points she earned through one victory at the World Figure Skating Championships, where she earned 20 points, and two third-place finishes, which earned her two points each.

Also worth noting is that I have seen websites (starting from 2008) saying that the US does not reward Olympic medal winners. This could be bad information circulating the web or they may have been a change in 2008.

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