Honour, glory, gold medals - and a $146,500 Mercedes for Russia's Olympic champions

The country's top athletes were also given $120,000 (£71,718) in cash

For some, the achievement alone is enough - but for Russia's top athletes, returning home from the Sochi Games will be made all the sweeter in a new set of wheels worth $146,500.

The country may be in the grip of a political crisis, but celebrations for the Russian athletes who won gold medals at the Sochi Winter Olympics continue apace - including the presentation of $120,000 (£71,718) in cash and 45 new cars for its biggest and brightest stars.

At a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday, 13 gold medallists each received the keys to a Mercedes GL-Class SUV worth $146,500 (£87,604), Russian news agency Interfax reported.

The country's 11 silver medallists were each presented with a Mercedes ML-Class, worth $99,500 (£59,502)- and all of the nine bronze medalists took home a Mercedes GLK-Class, worth $59,500 (£35,581).

And that wasn't all - each of the competitors also received $120,000 (£71,718) in cash.

Yet some athletes may get more use out of the vehicles than others. Yulia Lipnitskaya, who was lauded for her contribution to the Russian team figure skating gold medal, is only 15 - and too young to legally take her prize out for a spin.

When Mr Medvedev asked her who would drive the car, as legal driving age in Russia is 18, she said that "her mother would", RIA Novosti reported.

The cars were provided by the Russian Olympians Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation set up by a group of businessmen in 2005. In 2012, athletes who received medals in the London Olympic Games were each given a brand new Audi, complete with a personal driver.

The host nation emerged as the victor of the games, with a haul of 13 golds and 33 overall medals - the best the country has ever had during the Winter Olympics.

The country’s previous best gold haul was in 1994 in Norway’s Lillehammer, when the national team won 11 gold medals.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on