Depends on the individual or the sport in question:
Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards came last in his event at the Ski jumping in the late 1980's and become something of a national hero (Great Britain does very poorly at Alpine events - but then we have very little snow in the right places), and benefited financially due to the publicity. However in terms of his sport he wasn't well liked as he made it something of a joke sport for a while (who remembers who came first in the Ski Jumping events at the Calgary Olympics - but they all remember who came last - Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards).
Whereas Eric "the eel" from the 2000 games came last and nearly died in the process but everyone understood that he had poor training facilities (a small hotel rooftop swimming pool) and very limited time to train - but he still turned up to give it his best. He was signed up by a major sportwear manufacturer and promoted goods and opened things for a few years (he also benefited from improved training which knocked a full minute of his time) - so he benefited both financially and in terms of his sport).
Some winners go on to make vast financial gains (some become multi millionaires - mostly due to sponsership deals) mainly in high profile sports such as the top track athletes or swimmers, while others are truly in it for the love of the sport and just go back to their regular lives and jobs until the next Olympics call.
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