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Olympic status. At what cost?

One of the arguments being made for bridge being treated as an Olympic sport is that some countries provide subsidies and financial support to their Olympic teams and "athletes." But an intelligent discussion of the topic requires some information that I have never seen published.

How much money are what talking about? How many countries provide such subsidies? How many players are benefited?

I would feel very different if I knew it was $50 million annually, all of Europe and half of Asia, and 5000 players receiving an average of $10,000 each, as opposed to 6 guys from Latvia in a rented VW bus getting money for beer and gas. If players from countries who provide subsidies could post factual information, I think it would provide us all a better perspective of the issue.

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