So how much did each medal actually cost the UK at 2012?

August 17, 2012

Recently UK Sport released the details of the amount of money which has been invested in each Olympic sport since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The largest amounts of UK Sport money were spent on rowing (£27m), cycling (£26m) and athletics (£25m).

British cyclists won twelve medals in London, including seven golds in the Velodrome, with technological superiority no doubt playing an important part in their successes. This puts spending on cycling in perspective – the average spend per cycling medal was £2.2m.

The rowers also provided value for money. Their nine medals, four of which were gold, meant the average expense per medal was £3m. British boxing proved the most cost effective of all, as Team GB’s five medals put the average cost of a boxing medal at £1.9m.

Total UK Sport funding for the London 2012 Olympics was £264,143,753, up from £235,103,000 spent on the Beijing Games. For London 2012, money from UK Sport was supplemented by a private sponsorship scheme known as ‘Team 2012’.It is worth noting that the figures are skewed towards sports with a larger number of individual chances to win a medal. In hockey, Team GB’s women won a bronze medal, putting the cost of that medal at £15m. It was only ever possible for Team GB to win 2 medals in hockey, as opposed to swimming or cycling, in which there were many more medal contests.

Since 2008, a total of around £100m per year has been invested in 1,200 athletes competing across 47 different sports in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sport Cost per medal (£)
Hockey 15,013,200
Swimming 8,381,533
Diving 6,535,700
Modern Pentathlon 6,288,800
Sailing 4,588,540
Athletics 4,191,333
Canoeing 4,044,175
Judo 3,749,000
Rowing 3,031,956
Gymnastics 2,692,650
Equestrian 2,679,020
Triathlon 2,645,650
Shooting 2,461,866
Taekwondo 2,416,800
Cycling 2,169,333
Boxing 1,910,280
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