Forget Pussy Riot, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has rewarded his 129 Russian Olympic medalists with just as many new Audis after this year’s 2012 London Olympics. It is typical to reward Olympic medalists with cash prizes and/or other miscellaneous gifts, but we have to doff our cap to President Putin for going this route.
With 24 gold, 26 silver and 32 bronze medals, Russia took fourth place overall at the 2012 London Olympic games, but managed to snare more medals than they did four years earlier in Beijing. The president awarded each of the 129 medalists with a brand new Audi during a ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow.
You might be wondering, just as we were, how that all might work. The winning formula is simple: Bronze medalists got an Audi A6, silver medalists got an Audi A7 and gold medalists got an Audi A8. No mention was made of engine, model or specification given to the winning athletes, but Audi Russia have had a bumper month in sales volumes even if one Russian newspaper did report there to be a “… significant discount.”
The executive director of the Russian Olympic Federation, Alexander Katushev said at the ceremony: “A fine athlete in a crappy car is like a beautiful girl who cusses. The exterior doesn’t match the interior and this won’t do.” Hear, hear Alexander! Regardless of the ‘significant discount’, the cars are said to have been paid for by the Russian Olympic Federation, an organisation funded by 15 of the country’s wealthiest businessmen.
So it proves in sport, as is in life, if you work harder, you will achieve more and be rewarded accordingly. Although on a scale of effort versus reward, an Audi A6 for third place isn’t too bad when you think about it. Perhaps in future an Audi ‘RS’ model for gold, ‘S’ model for silver and bog standard ‘A’ model for bronze might be an even better motivating tool.