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Russia's Prime Minister Medvedev and figure skating gold medal winner Lipnitskaya attend ceremony to present automobiles to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics prize-holders representing Russia, in central Moscow

Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and figure skating gold medal winner Yulia Lipnitskaya (R) attend a ceremony to present automobiles to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics prize-holders representing Russia, by the Kremlin wall in central Moscow, February 27, 2014. REUTERS/Artem Zhitenev/RIA Novosti/Pool (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS SPORT OLYMPICS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Russian Olympic medalists receive big rewards

Russia gave all of its gold medalists in the Sochi Games $120,000, plus a brand-new Mercedes GL SUV. This led to a bit of logistical leapfrogging with athletes like Julia Lipnitskaya, who is only 15 and not yet of legal driving age in Russia. (She got a personal driver to go along with the car.) Silver medalists got $76,000 and a Mercedes ML, and bronze medalists got $52,000 and a Mercedes GLK.

A total of 45 cars were distributed to gold medalists. Russia won a Sochi-leading total of 33 medals, including 13 golds. The cars were provided by the Russian Olympians Foundation, a consortium established by Russian businessmen in 2005. Russian athletes who won medals in the 2012 London Games received new Audis with personal drivers.
Jay Busbee