As if it doesn't take an obscene amount of money for an athlete to get to the Olympic Games, it costs them even more if they win a medal. In addition to the medal they are given, the US Olympic Committee awards each winning athlete a certain amount of prize money. While this seems like a lovely gesture of pride, most athletes don't realize how much the US charges them to be on top. Athletes are forced to pay US taxes on the prize money they are "given" and on the overall value of the Olympic medals themselves. But why is the US penalizing their own winning athletes?