Posted: 12:51 pm on 4th March 2014

skiingSo the party’s over, it’s time to call it a day, and, as Nat King Cole sang, now the piper must be paid.

Or is that the halfpiper?

Australia’s Winter Olympic team are headed home, having won three medals — congratulations Torah Bright, David Morris, and Lydia Lassila — and now WasteWatch can turn its attention to the cost of the fun.

According to the Daily Telegraph, #teamoutcast and their better-funded friends cost taxpayers around Australia about $9.5 million.

This works out to be about $3.2 million per medal, well over the market rate.

Olympic medals have been sold in the past, most famously in 2010 when former US ice hockey star Mark Wells’ gold medal from the 1980 Winter Olympics went for $310,700 at an auction.

However, other medals have gone for about a twentieth of that price.

Certainly none of them have gone for anything approaching $3 million.

Add to this the fact that Australia has the fifth-highest amount of money devoted to medal incentives, and one might ask why so much money is being spent on people sliding down cold things.

Surely there is a better way to spend taxpayer money?

William Shrubb, Research Assistant

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