The 2008 ISU World Figure Skating Championships has now concluded in Gothenburg, Sweden. Did you know there's prize money involved for skaters/couples placing first through twelfth (see below)? I read this information with interest because you never hear about the prize money. Is it because it's borderline embarrassing that in the biggest event of the year, the best skater in the world receives $45,000?
Contrast with tennis, which I also follow -- at the 2007 U.S. Open, winners Roger Federer and Justine Henin each received $1,400,000. Hm...I know there are huge differences between the two sports, but there is something bizarre in seeing these numbers in black and white. Look again: $45,000 versus $1,400,000.
I suppose it's what the industry dictates. During ABC/ESPN's coverage of Worlds, the announcers broke down an elite skater's annual expenses, and it totaled $87,000! No wonder when I look at up-and-coming skaters' websites, there's usually a link to contribute towards their training.
Men and Ladies Pairs and Dance (per couple)
1st place US$ 45,000 1st place US$ 67,500
2nd place US$ 27,000 2nd place US$ 40,500
3rd place US$ 18,000 3rd place US$ 27,000
4th place US$ 13,000 4th place US$ 19,500
5th place US$ 10,000 5th place US$ 15,000
6th place US$ 7,000 6th place US$ 10,500
7th place US$ 6,000 7th place US$ 9,000
8th place US$ 5,000 8th place US$ 7,500
9th place US$ 3,500 9th place US$ 5,250
10th place US$ 3,000 10th place US$ 4,500
11th place US$ 2,500 11th place US$ 3,750
12th place US$ 2,000 12th place US$ 3,000