Russian medalists at the recently concluded Sochi Winter Olympics are being rewarded quite handsomely for their service to the Motherland. In addition to the $120,000 being handed out for each gold medal, the $76,000 being awarded for slivers and $52,000 given to bronze winners, now word has come out that each of Russia's medalists will be gifted a new Mercedes-Benz.
As with the prize amounts, the type of Mercedes offered was based on what sort of medal was won. Gold medalists got a new GL-Class, silver medalists were given an ML and bronze medalists were treated to a GLK. As prices for Mercedes are higher in Russia, the cheapest model, the GLK, was the equivalent of $59,500, according to The Moscow Times. The cars were handed out by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, pictured above with figure skating medalist Julia Lipnitskaia.
"I was a bit shocked at the car I was given," Anton Shipulin, a member of the gold-medal biathlon relay team, told RIA-Novosti. "Of course I knew what kind of model it would be, but I didn't totally believe it." For athletes not old enough to drive, like 15-year-old Lipnitskaia, their Mercedes will come complete with a driver.
In total, the Russian Olympians Foundation handed out 45 cars for the 13 golds, 11 silvers and 9 bronze medals won by Team Russia.