Russians sure do take the Olympics seriously. Although the country was most dominant when it was part of the USSR, its top five performance in overall medal counts in each of the past seven Olympic games still makes it a powerhouse nation. Needless to say, Russian Olympians remain heroes of their country, a fact President Vladimir Putin wanted to openly acknowledge.
On behalf of the Russian Olympians Foundation, and during a ceremony held in the Kremlin, Putin awarded each of the country’s 129 medalists of the 2012 London Olympic Games with a brand new Audi.
“A fine athlete in a crappy car is like a beautiful girl who cusses. The exterior doesn’t match the interior, and this won’t do,” said, Alexander Katushev, the fund’s executive director.
Katushev didn’t say how much the cars cost, but disclosed that they were acquired through an open tender at a “significant discount.”
In addition to the cars, each medalists received a cash prize: 4 million rubles ($125,000) for gold, 2.5 million rubles for silver, and 1.7 million rubles for bronze.
With its 24 gold medals, 26 silver medals and 32 bronze medals, Russia took third place in overall medal count and fourth place in gold medal count at the 2012 Games. Keep in mind that some of the events were team events, explaining the discrepancy between the country’s medal count and the number of medalists awarded.
Reference: The Moscow Times