Olympians to pay medal taxes

Sportspeople disappointed after culture minister breaks promise made by predecessor after Beijing 2008

The Malo Seaways was hit by emergency flares over the weekeend (Photo: DFDS)
March 15th, 2012 9:08 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Winning a medal for Denmark won’t be as lucrative for those participating in the Olympic Games in London as it was four years ago in Beijing. Brian Mikkelsen, the culture minister during the Olympic Games in Beijing, made the promise that the Danish competitors would again be exempt from paying taxes on their medal winnings in 2012.

As was the case in 2008, Danish athletes are in line to win 100,000 kroner as a bonus for a gold medal, 75,000 for a silver medal nets and 35,000 for a bronze.

 

However, the incumbent minister of culture, Uffe Elbæk from the Radikale (R), has now stated that the Olympians will not be excused from taxation after all, indicating that the Danish competitors should not be given preferential treatment.

 

“Brian Mikkelsen unfortunately made a promise, but as I pay my taxes so should the Olympians pay taxes from their potential winnings.” Elbæk told the daily MetroXpress. Carl Holst, the chairman of Team Denmark, finds the minister’s comparison of elite sports competitors to the average taxpayer as odd and thinks that the sportspeople should instead be equated as artists. “I think it’s a real shame. When artists get a one-time donation then it’s tax free, but that’s not the case for elite sportspeople. Not only is that unfair, but it’s discriminatory practice.”

 

Several sportspeople have been critical of the move, saying that it contradicts previous messages from politicians that highlight the need to properly support Danish sportspeople representing their country. 

 

“It’s a poor message to give,” Victor Feddersen, a former Olympic gold medal winner in rowing, told Jyllands Posten newspaper. “One hundred thousand kroner sounds like a lot of money, but one needs to consider that the athletes have sacrificed a lot of their own money to live a normal life while pursuing a professional sports career.”

 

Rene Poulsen, a kayaker who won a silver medal in Beijing and is set to compete in London this summer, echoed the sentiment and is disappointed by the prospect of paying taxes on his hard-earned winnings.

 

“They say that it means so much for Denmark that we represent and win medals and that we have sportspeople represent Denmark at the Olympics Games,” he told Jyllands Posten. “ So I really can’t comprehend that we won’t get paid  accordingly.”

The Malo Seaways was hit by emergency flares over the weekeend (Photo: DFDS)
DFDS hopes to resume Calais service tomorrow
DFDS Seaways services between Dover and Calais remained suspended today aft...
Noma to take a break in Copenhagen in January (Photo: Antissimo)
Noma to close in Copenhagen for ten weeks
Copenhagen’s Noma will shut down for ten weeks next January so the entire...
More and more turbines could be popping up offshore (Photo: Kim Hansen)
More wind farms could be cropping up near the coast
Wind turbines could be popping up along the coastline like, well, wind turb...
It's a Dogg's life (Photo: Jørund Føreland Pedersen)
Rough weekend for the Dogg
US rapper Snoop Dogg's Scandinavian soiree over the weekend was problemati...
It looks barbaric, but the locals call it tradition (Photo: Erik Christensen)
Danish politicians slammed with protests over pilot whale hunt
The traditional grindadráp - the pilot whale hunt - is underway in the Far...
The attempt was eventually abandoned (photo: dinby.dk)
Today’s date: First drilling for oil
The first ever attempt to drill for oil in Denmark took place 80 years ago ...