With the Olympics set to start today, we've been thinking about recent comments by prominent American podcaster Joe Rogan. He believes Olympic athletes should be paid.
"All of them should be getting paid millions of dollars," Rogan said.
"All the winners of the gold medals, all those people that are generating insane amounts of wealth for the Olympics, they should get a giant piece of that. They're the reason why people watch the Olympics.
"The networks are making it [money] and the IOC [International Olympic Committee] is making it and all these other people are making it and the athletes - the whole reason people are tuning in - they get nothing. It's insane. It's a disgusting system."
He does seem to have a point.
A recently released Australian Sport Foundation survey found that "most Australian representative athletes receive minimal income from sport, but also relatively little from other employment".
"Athletes are forced to rely on their families - if financially able - to support their athletic careers."
Most of the representative athletes who responded to the survey "earn less than the national minimum wage of $39,000".
The IOC states that it generates "substantial revenues almost unparalleled across the sporting world".
"In total, through the sale of broadcasting and marketing rights, as well as other income streams, the revenue for the Olympiad that spans 2013 to 2016, covering the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 and the Olympic Games Rio 2016, was $US5.7 billion.
"The IOC is a non-profit organisation, dedicated to using the revenue generated from the Olympic Games to assist athletes and develop sport worldwide. As a result, every day the IOC distributes about $US3.4 million around the world to help athletes and sporting organisations."
It states that 90 per cent of its revenue goes to the Olympics Games and "sport and athlete development", with 10 per cent going to IOC operations.
"In total, around $US2.5 billion is put towards the staging of the Olympic Games, to ease the financial burden on the host cities," it stated.
"A substantial portion of the profits from the Games is allocated through the national Olympic committees directly to helping athletes and coaches from countries with the greatest financial need, as part of the Olympic solidarity program."
This may be true, but we reckon something is amiss here. The athletes are the main attraction. Yes, the Olympics was traditionally for amateurs. But professional athletes now compete at the Games. So surely any athlete who competes should be paid a big performance fee?
About 11,000 athletes will compete at the Games. If they were each paid $100,000, that would amount to about $1.1 billion. That sounds like a fair slice of the pie to us.
Guess some will say the beauty of the Olympics is that the athletes compete for the love of sport, not money.
Australian athletes who win medals at the Tokyo Olympics are "considered" for payments of $20,000 if they win gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze.
They'll receive this money under the AOC [Australian Olympic Committee] medal incentive funding.
- Coverage of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony begins at 8.30pm on Friday on Prime, with the ceremony starting at 9pm.