1. The 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles are the only Summer Games so far to make a profit: $223 million. The Games were financed by corporate contributions instead of public tax dollars, and mainly used existing venues instead of building new stadiums.
2. A 500-gram gold medal is mainly silver and only 1% actual gold. If melted down, it would be worth about $500 at current metal prices; a silver medal would be worth less than $300, and a bronze medal less than $2.50.
3. The Team USA store is making money old school: the most expensive items are Michael Jordan autographed 1992 jerseys ($2,500) and a Mia Hamm autographed 1999 World Cup Soccer team photo ($1,500). Among the cheapest: a 99-cent USA Field Hockey 2012 Calendar!
4. The original budget for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, was $12 billion. The Games ended up costing $50 billion, becoming the most expensive Olympic event ever, possibly more than the combined total of all the previous Winter Olympics.
5. The U.S. Olympic Committee awards U.S. athletes a gold medal bonus of $25,000, while native gold medal winners get $510,000 from Azerbaijan, $250,000 from Kazakhstan, and $0 from the UK and Norway. In 2012, a Malaysian mine owner offered a 12.5kg (27.5 lb.) gold bar then worth more than $600,000 to any badminton player who won gold for his country. Malaysian Lee Chong Wei lost in the finals to take the silver.
Photo By Mike Quach (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons