Does the United States pay their Olympic athletes?
The United States government does not pay their Olympic athletes. However, it is possible that an athlete will have a contract with a business, such as a shoe manufacturer or a swimsuit manufacturer, and that contract may have wording in it that says the athlete will be paid an amount for winning an Olympic event.
The USOC - United States Olympic Committee - which is a private entity separate from the US Gov't - pays athletes for medals - $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. Some athletes are invited to train at the US Olympic training facility run by the USOC and all expenses are paid, but the athlete must adhere to a strict training schedule and rules of the facility.