Winning an Olympic medal takes years of sacrifice and hard work, coming home to America with one though will cost you cold hard cash too. The conservative spoil-sports over at the Americans for Tax Reform went through the tax code and found some interesting items as pertains to the Olympics.
A bronze medal merits a $2 tax just for the medal, the prize money that comes with it ($10,000), well that gets taxed too, costing you around $3,500. Earning silver or gold costs even more, counting the prize money ($15,000 for silver, $25,000 for gold) you're looking at upwards of $5,000-9,000 in tax liens.
Presumably you can write off much of your training expenses but since the US is one of the only nations that doesn't provide federal funding for Olympics training, ultimately, the athletes are probably out a significant amount of coin from their pockets.
Makes you almost think twice about going for the gold, after all, you could finish 4th, receive no prize money, still get the free trip and clothes and potential sponsorships and NOT pay the prize tax...