I have a mixed opinion. The US medalists are really winning 2 things: the medal itself and a cash prize from the US Olympic Committee ($25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver, and $10,000 for a bronze). I don't think our medalists should need to pay tax on the value of the medal itself, unless they sell it. But I think they should pay taxes on their cash prizes, just as other Americans pay taxes on their incomes. That said, many of our athletes will end up owing little or nothing in taxes on these prizes, once they deduct their unreimbursed training expenses.