These Olympic Medalists received the Most Cash Incentives from their countries

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Every four years, the world gets hit with the Olympic fever. Folks from all over the world (us included) start to pay attention to a variety of sports that, lets face it, normally take a back seat to the more popular stuff like soccer, rugby, American football, basketball, cricket etc. It’s a time when lesser known athletes can compete in a global arena for the chance to bring home the glory of an Olympic medal. Take Joseph Schooling, the Men’s 100m butterfly Gold medalist, for example…The Singaporean swim champ was relatively unknown, even in Singapore, until he beat, USA's Michael Phelps. Not only was Joseph Schooling an overnight sensation with the bragging rights that come along with winning an Olympic Gold medal, he also became an instant millionaire in his home state (S$1,000,000).

Although the Olympics committee itself doesn’t offer any cash incentives for winning medals, the athletes’ home countries may award them cash prizes for bringing home the glory. We have compiled a list of athletes who have earned the most in cash incentives thanks to their efforts in the recent Rio Olympics 2016.

#1   Hsu Shu-ching, Taiwan, US$955,000 (NT$30 million)

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The 25-year-old won the Gold in the Weightlifting Women's 53kg class by lifting a whopping total of 212kg. in the women's 53 kilogram group. The Taiwanese native lifted 100kg in the snatch and 112kg in the clean and jerk. Last year, Taiwan's Ministry of Education initially approved amendments to raise the cash prize for Olympic gold medal winners to NT$20 million. Once they got news that Hsu Shu-ching actually managed to clinch the top spot, the committee decided give her to an additional NT$10 million.

#2   Joseph Schooling, Singapore, US$757,000 (S$1,000,000)

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The 21-year-old, Singapore’s pride and joy, is the first ever winner of the country’s Olympic Gold, and the first ever recipient of the country’s million dollar prize. He’s also the current holder of the Olympic record for the Men's 100m butterfly, with a timing of 50.39.

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#3   Tontowi Ahmad & Liliyana Natsir, Indonesia, US$380,518 (IDR 5 billion) each

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Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir beat strong competition to win the Gold in Badminton mixed doubles. Aside from going home to a one-off payment of 5 billion Indonesian rupiah each, the two athletes will also be given a lifetime pension of around US$1500 a month!

#4   Niccolò Campriani, Italy, US$379,600

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He won a Gold for the Men's 50m air rifle in three positions (US$189,800) and another Gold for the Men's 10m air rifle (US$189,800). He had also previously taken a home a gold medal for the 50m rifle 3 positions’ gold during the London Olympics. Niccolò Campriani's amazing performance in this year's Olympics has earned him the title of being the most successful Olympic rifle shooter...ever. No-one else has won three individual gold medals for air rifle shooting in the Olympics' 120-year history.

#5   Sopita Tanasan, Thailand, US$314,000

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The 21-year-old dominated the Weightlifting Women's 48kg (the lightest category) by lifting 92kg in the snatch and 108kg in the clean and jerk, finishing with a total of 200kg. The Thai Gold medalist will receive her US$314,000 reward over a 20-year period.

#6   Sukanya Srisurat, Thailand, US$314,000

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Sukanya Srisurat's attempt at the Weightlifting Women's 58kg not only won her a Gold medal, but also set a new Olympic record. She lifted the record-breaking snatch with 110kg, before managing 130kg in the clean and jerk. The previous Olympic record of 108kg for the snatch was set by China's Li Xueying during the London Olympics in 2012. Like her fellow gold medal-winning teammate, Sopita Tanasan, she will also receive her US$314,000 reward over a 20-year period.

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