How Much Money do Throwers Make?

  • Hi Norm, its true! if you have a wonderful season you could make a good amount but the difference can me huge between the have and have nots.our shottputers have done well from time to time but that is with competing at a lot of top compeitions to make money. the runners are generally paid much more as a base. throwers do not get much money on base contracts, most money is earned competing or as bonuses.


    right now the diamond league has simply dissolved the 2nd tier meets so they have a monopoly per se. the top winnings for diamond league comp are 10k per meetin!g and there are 6-7 competitions per throwing event. the worlds top throwers usually show up. so if Harting, kanter, malachowski get top3 the winnings go accordingly to them
    10k, 8k, 6k. adam nelson talked about this. even if you average 3rd place amongst the top throwers in the Diamond league series. you can bring 36k for that, usa nationals has been worth 3-5k generally for the winner.if you have a shoe sponsor there are bonuses and if you medal the same. a medalist can make over 100k but has to work hard to bring that home.


    in my best season, i cleared 75k of track and field earnings from all sources. BEFORE TAXES. threw near 70m, 15 throws over 65m, had diamond league points, top usa ranking, 2nd at usa national, world cup. threw well in europe. the relaity is that the diamond league is not great for usa throwers, outside of those whove already medalled. many of our usa champions outside of shotput will be luck to bring in 25k including sponsor and grants given by USATF Foundation etc. every season since 2010 ive made less significantly.


    You see distance runners that have never seen a championship being signed for big base contracts. they will routinely sign a contract for gauranteed money at 150k from college with good timing. i know plenty of runners and sprinters who arent making teams that get 90k base. my biggest base has been 8k. As of Today i have zero base money, but i am happy that Nike has allowed me to maintain bonus ability. without that, the earnings would be much much less.


    To put a number on it, as a top thrower you could make around 300k if you won every meet, won majors, set alot of meet records in the process, had a personal best during the season, set a world record, and on and on. there have been exceptions but even harting is not making as much as he is worth. Ger kanter likely caught a good period, being at the end of the golden league era at his peak, at that time throwers and all athletes got good appearnce fees. now they are saving all the appearnce fee for Usain bolt.promoters dont even care if the throws are in the stadiums anymore


    also keep in mind, sports agents which you must have to get any comps, will charge up to 20% for winnings and bonuses. so average 3rd place in the diamond league, you make 42k after 7 meets, then pay your agent and drop to 34k, then taxes for america you drop to 25k. say you are also bronze at the olympics add another 12k after taxes and agent fees. so now your at 37k, maybe a 20k base contract bonus is added. but subtract fees and add another 12k. so now we are at 49k.


    there are other bonuses that are available but those are the biggest. also when we filled out for track and field related income in those surveys, it takes into account grants. you see generally, unless a thrower has a medal, or has been set up by USOC, they hold a full time job!


    in addition, this is sad but the women competitors just as in most "occupations"will make less base than the men. When we see the top athletes from non state sponsored countries competing frequently outside of the championships, it is due to the need to earn money. in a state sponsored environment, the government is taking care of your needs and training needs. i know for fact that some of the top world throwers who have state backing will have over 100k budget per year for their training, travelling, etc.
    there is a big differnce when you training, camps, nutrition, housing, childrens daycare etc comes from your own bank account. as throwers we are just like regular guys, olympians, medalists or not!

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