Olympic Medal Mania

Congratulations on winning your new Olympic medal!

Here’s a little background info I found on CNBC, CBS News, and Weekly Standard.

Eight tons of gold, silver, and copper has been mined by Olympic partner sponsor Rio Tinto at Kennecott Utah Copper Mine near Salt Lake City, Utah as well as the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia.

The 4,700 medals, including Olympic and Paralympic medals, were made at the Royal Mint headquarters in Llanstisant, South Wales and are housed in the vaults of the Tower of London. Each medal takes 10 hours to produce involving 22 stages of production.

The Olympic Summer Games in London features 302 medal events across 26 medal sports. The first medal awarded was in Women’s 10m Air Rifle on Saturday, July 28, and the final medal to be awarded is expected to be in Women’s Modern Pentathlon on Sunday, August 12th.

So what happens when you do actually win a medal?

The good folks at Americans for Tax Reform have gone through the fine print to find out what our Olympians will have to cough up to the IRS.

Even by the standards of our government, the numbers are insane.

For instance: Americans who win bronze will pay a $2 tax on the medal itself. But the bronze comes with a modest prize—$10,000 as an honorarium for devoting your entire life to being the third best athlete on the planet in your chosen discipline. And the IRS will take $3,500 of that, thank you very much.

There are also prizes that accompany each medal: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze.

Silver medalists will owe $5,385. You win a gold? Timothy Geithner will be standing there with his hand out for $8,986.

So as of this writing, swimmer Missy Franklin—who’s a high school student—is already on the hook for almost $14,000. By the time she’s done in the pool, her tab could be much higher. (That is, unless she has to decline the prize money to placate the NCAA—the only organization in America whose nuttiness rivals the IRS.)

ATR notes that the real twist of the knife is that most other Olympians won’t pay any taxes on their medals because America is one of only a handful of countries which taxes “worldwide” prize income earned overseas.

But wait! How much are those medals really worth?

The medals handed out at the London 2012 Summer Olympics are largest ever in both size and weight. They are more than twice the size of the medals that were awarded in Beijing in 2008 and are the biggest ever designed. But how much are they actually worth?

To the athletes, the medals are priceless, but some of the medals are worth less than $5, CBS Detroit station WOMC-FM reports.

By their worth, that’s strictly their raw material cost, not the fact that these are Olympic medals.

The gold medal consists of just over 1 percent actual gold. The rest is made up of 92.5 percent silver and 6.16 percent copper – and is only worth about $644.

The silver medal is a modification of the gold medal. The gold is replaced with more copper, making the medal worth around $330.

The bronze medal is made of 97 percent copper, 2.5 percent zinc and 0.5 percent tin – and is only worth about $4.70.

CBS News: http://cbsn.ws/MckRqw

Weekly Standard: http://bit.ly/T3e4US

CNBC: http://www.cnbc.com/id/48355256

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