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Sandi Morris. Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF

The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics was a serious economic blow for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls.

The state of play: With seasons and events canceled, athletes are unable to earn appearance fees, prize money and performance bonuses from sponsors, all while continuing to train for Tokyo 2021.

  • Outside of a select few, most Olympic athletes earn very little money from their sport. In fact, as pole vaulting silver medalist Sandi Morris (above) told me this week: "A general rule of thumb is that if an athlete is not top 10 in the world in their event, they probably have a part-time job to pay the bills."
  • Some athletes have sponsorship deals, but many of those are up in the air, with sponsors hurting financially and unprepared to pay athletes for an extra 12 months.
"Every four years, we know Team USA is going be the team everyone is watching. We know our athletes are going to perform and raise our flag high for the world to see. In order for us to get that, we need to invest in them."
— Five-time Olympian Bernard Lagat tells Axios

Go deeper: Athletes who qualified for Tokyo Olympics to keep their spots in 2021

Go deeper

Scoop: University of Texas athletes banking on likenesses and images

Bijan Robinson of the University of Texas attempts to elude a would-be Oklahoma State tackler. Photo: Tim Warner/Getty Images

University of Texas football players have capitalized on their names, images or likenesses at least 76 times since the summer, per disclosures made to the school's compliance department and obtained by Axios through an open records request.

Why it matters: The disclosure stats are a window into how a new raft of laws allows student-athletes to finally profit on their own names and images.

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas — Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements.
  3. Politics: Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19 — Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health."
  4. Economy: Report: World's 10 richest men doubled wealth during pandemicAmerica's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — French parliament passes COVID vaccine passport legislation.
  7. Variant tracker

Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19

Photo: Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

State of play: Joint Staff spokesperson Col. Dave Butler said in a statement that Milley — who is fully vaccinated and has received a booster shot — is experiencing "very minor symptoms" and is "working remotely and isolating himself."

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