It has always been a criticism of the US that we don't pay our athletes like other countries do. A lot of countries provide their Olympic athletes with coaches, places to train, and a pretty modest income but pay big rewards if they win. In the US you actually get taxed if you win. They joked about the fact that if Phelps won 8 medals he would only take home cash from 5 of them. Granted he had sponsorships.