Thu, 26 Jul 2012 11:02:36 GMT | By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
What countries pay the most for an Olympic medal?

From $0 to more than $150,000, medal bonuses vary greatly by country.



From $0 to more than $150,000, medal bonuses vary greatly by country. (© Sang Tan/AP Photo)
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  • From $0 to more than $150,000, medal bonuses vary greatly by country. (© Sang Tan/AP Photo)
  • Britain's Denise Lewis holds up her gold medal for the women's heptathlon at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. (© Thomas Kienzle/AP Photo)
  • Germany's Robert Bartko waves after receiving the gold medal in the men's individual pursuit in track cycling at Dunc Gray Velodrome at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympic Games. (© Laurent Rebours/AP Photo)
  • Canadian ice dance gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. (© Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)
  • Australia's Cathy Freeman stands center with her gold medal for the women's 400 meter race alongside silver medal winner Lorraine Graham of Jamaica, right, and bronze medal winner Katharine Merry, of Great Britain during medal awards ceremonies at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. (© Thomas Kienzle/AP Photo)
  • Earvin "Magic" Johnson whips the United States flag in ecstasy during the gold medal ceremony during the 1992 Summer Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain. (© Susan Ragan/File/AP Photo)
  • Gold medalist Liu Xuan of China at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympic Games. (© Amy Sancetta/AP Photo)
  • Japan's Ryoko Tani holds her bronze medal following the medal ceremony for the women's judo extra lightweight division at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. (© Charles Dharapak/ File/AP Photo)
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Olympic competitors revel in two weeks of fame every four years, but the time in between the Games can be difficult. According to a recent survey conducted by the USA Track and Field Foundation, just half of the team's top-ranked track stars earn more than a woeful $15,000 from the sport each year.

Fact is, not every Olympian is an advertiser's dream like Michael Phelps or Lolo Jones, so many athletes rely on the bonuses paid for reaching the podium. What do top nations fork over for medalling at the Olympics? Click through to find out.

* All figures in USD.

* Video: More British troops in London than Afghanistan for Olympics

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