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Operation Gold proves costly to USOC

2/25/2002

The largest U.S. Winter Olympic medal haul in history has led to the largest Winter Olympic payout in U.S. Olympic Committee history.


The USOC will pay American athletes a combined $1.27 million in bonuses for their record-setting 82 Winter Olympic medals.

The USOC's Operation Gold program will award $25,000 for each gold, $15,000 for each silver and $10,000 for each bronze. The 2000 Games in Sydney produced the largest Summer Games payout, with the USOC dishing out $2.965 million -- $15,000 for gold, 10,000 for silver and $7,500 for bronze.

Although the U.S. finished second in the medal count for these games with 34 (one behind medal-leader Germany), each of the 23 men's and 20 women's U.S. hockey players will be entitled to $15,000 bonuses for their silver medals.

U.S. Speedskaters Apolo Anton Ohno and Derek Parra received the largest bonuses. The only dual medalists to win a gold and a silver, each received $40,000. Bode Miller will receive $30,000 for his two silvers. No other athlete will collect more than $25,000 from the USOC.

Darren Rovell covers sports business for ESPN.com. He can be reached at darren.rovell@espn.com.