Aussie Olympic champion Emily Seebohm has revealed the shocking amount elite swimmers earn while chatting to her fellow campmates on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.
The Four-time Olympian and three-time Olympic gold medallist revealed that a swimmer at the TOP of their game earns just $30,000 a year.
“So, our swimming contracts are done every year, and every year, you’ve gotta, like, re-try and make the top tier,” she explained.
“One to eight is 30, $30,000 for the year. Thirty is our biggest contract.”
NRL star Beau Ryan was quick to express his frustration, responding: “You just assume that our Olympic athletes, our national treasures are on huge money. You just assume that. You assume they live in nice homes, drive fast cars and they’re on good money.”
The 29-year-old then went on to reveal that winning an Olympic gold medal is worth around $20,000.
When asked why elite swimmers are paid so little, she explained that it all comes down to sponsorships, which primarily go to NRL stars.
“They’re hard to come by these days because there’s NRL, which is played weekly, which is way better and they can wear their sponsors whereas we can’t.”
She added, “As swimmers, when we’re on the team, we can’t wear personal sponsors. People don’t want to sponsor us.”
As a result, the only way swimmers can make money is by competing in – and ultimately winning – major swim meets.
Fellow campmate Maria Thattil asked whether they had to take on “normal jobs” while training, which Emily explained in impossible.
“You only get a contract every year, so every year, you’ve gotta remake the team,” she explained.
“So you’re only on the top for a year and then if you have an off year and you drop to, like, not making the team or you drop to 16th, your funding immediately drops.”
She added: “I have to be on the top of my game every time I swim, otherwise I’m not gonna make that money. Like, I can’t slack off at all. Ever.”
You can watch the moment here: