Team GB Cost £9,378,378.36 Per Medal

Team GB Olympic Funding by Sport 2013-2017Team GB

Increased Funding

Athletics £26.8m (from £25.1m) – 6 medals in London (hit target 5-8 medals)

Boxing* £13.8m (£9.6m) – 5 medals (hit target 3-5 medals)

Canoeing £19.1 (£16.2m) – 4 medals (hit target 3-4 medals)

Cycling £30.6m (£26.0m) – 12 medals (surpassed target 6-10 medals)

Diving £7.5m (£6.5m) – 1 medal (hit target 1-3 medals)

Equestrian £17.9m (£13.4m) – 5 medals (surpassed target 3-4 medals)

Fencing* £3.1m (£2.5m) – 0 medals (hit target 0-1 medals)

Gymnastics £14.5m (£10.7m) – 4 medals (surpassed target 1-2 medals)

Hockey £15.5m (£15.1m) – 1 medal (hit target 1-2 medals)

Modern Pentathlon £6.9m (£6.3m) – 1 medal (hit target 1-2 medals)

Rowing £32.6m (£27.3m) – 9 medals (surpassed target 6 medals)

Sailing £24.5m (£22.9m) – 5 medals (hit target 3-5 medals)

Shooting £3.0m (£2.5m) – 1 medal (hit target 0-1 medals)

Synchronised Swimming £4.3m (£3.4m) – 0 medals (hit target 0 medals)

Taekwondo £6.9m (£4.8m) – 2 medals (hit target 1-3 medals)

Triathlon £5.5m (£5.3m) – 2 medals (hit target 1-2 medals)

Water Polo*** £4.5m (£2.9m) – 0 medals (hit target 0 medals)

Weightlifting £1.8m (£1.3m) – 0 medals (hit target 0 medals)

Decreased Funding

Archery £3.1m (£4.4m) – 0 medals (missed performance target)

Badminton £5.9m (£7.4m) – 0 medals (missed performance target)

Basketball zero funding (£8.6m) – 0 medals (missed performance target)

Handball zero funding (£2.9m) – missed performance target

Judo* £6.8m (£7.5m) – 2 medals (surpassed target 0-1 medals)

Swimming* £21.4m (£25.1m) – 3 medals (missed target 5-7 medals)

Table tennis zero funding (£1.2m) – missed performance target

Volleyball** £400,000 (£3.5m) – missed performance target

Wrestling zero funding (£1.4m) – missed performance

* first year only guaranteed, remainder pending approval

** funding only for women’s beach volleyball

*** funding only for women’s water polo.

Total Budget of £347 million over 4 years which works out at around £86.75 million per year. By contrast The U.S. Olympic Committee does not receive direct government funding for Olympic programs (except for select Paralympic military programs). The USOC’s main sources of revenue are television broadcast rights, sponsorships and philanthropy in the form of major gifts and direct mail income. Additional funding comes from the government for Paralympic programming, as well as other sources such as the city of Colorado Springs and the U.S. Olympic Foundation totalling around $154 million per year which is around £118.11 million. With this they managed to send a team of 554 athletes to Rio & win 103, 110, 101, 93 & 101 medals in each of the prior five Olympic Games vs. 65, 47, 30, 28 & 15 medals for Team GB.

It thus cost Britain £237,021.86 per year to send one competitor to Rio against America’s average of £213,194.94 per year to send one Olympic hopeful to the same Games. Assuming Britain collect their average yield of the last 5 Olympic Games (37 medals) the cost per medal will run to £2,344,594.59 per medal. The United States would be expected – on the same basis – to pay around £1,162,500.00 per medal. That is Team GB spend more than double per medal what Team USA do.

South Africa – by way of contrast – have an annual budget of just £5.64 million – and won 6, 1, 6, 5 & 5 medals at each of the last 5 Olympic Games meaning an average cost per medal per year of £1,226,086.96.

Team GB thus combine massive investment with mediocre aggregated ability to yield around half the medal tally per million pounds invested.

366 athletes make up Team GB in Rio 2016. They stem from the following sports.

  • Archery 2 at a cost of £3.1m.
  • Athletics 80 at a cost of £26.8m.
  • Badminton 8 at a cost of £5.9m.
  • Boxing 12 at a cost of £13.8m.
  • Canoe Slalom/Sprint 4/8 at a cost of £19.1m.
  • BMX 2 at a cost of unknown.
  • Mountain Bike 1 at a cost of unknown.
  • Cycling Road/Track 8/15 at a cost of £30.6m.
  • Diving 11 at a cost of £7.5m.
  • Equestrian 12 at a cost of £17.9m.
  • Fencing 3 at a cost of £3.1m.
  • Hockey 32 at a cost of £15.5m.
  • Golf 4 at a cost of nothing.
  • Gymnastics 10 at a cost of £14.5m.
  • Judo 7 at a cost of £6.8m.
  • Marathon Swimming 2 at a cost of unknown.
  • Modern Pentathlon 4 at a cost of £6.9m.
  • Rowing 43 at a cost of £32.6m.
  • Rugby 24 at a cost of nothing.
  • Sailing 15 at a cost of £24.5m.
  • Shooting 6 at a cost of £3.0m.
  • Swimming 26 at a cost of £21.4m.
  • Synchronised Swimming 2 at a cost of £4.3m.
  • Table Tennis 3 at a cost of nothing.
  • Taekwondo 4 at a cost of £6.9m.
  • Tennis 7 at a cost of nothing.
  • Trampoline 3 at a cost of unknown.
  • Triathlon 6 at a cost of £5.5m.
  • Weightlifting 2 at a cost of £1.8m.

Some of the expenses involved in Team GB’s mammoth £347 million 4 year budget include: 

48,017 individual items of kit supplied to 833 competitors and support staff

3,444 pairs of footwear

7,396 pairs of socks

2,845 luggage bags

1,545 hats

3 miles of cloth used to make Team GB suits

22 shipping containers used to carry furniture and supplies to Rio

121 Ikea kettles brought to Rio

249 DFS sofas in GB athletes’ rooms

350 Union flag cushions

72 DFS outdoor garden sets

5,500 PG Tips tea bags

366 special edition Blue Peter badges, one for each athlete

16 age of youngest athlete, gymnast Amy Tinkler

61 this Friday – the oldest athlete, equestrian John Whitaker