Say, I was watching the Ladies and Dancers yesterday,and I was wondering about that. Do Skaters who don't make the Podium (such as in the Worlds eg.) get anything like ribbon, or do they go home empty handed?
In ISU events, skaters who make the top 3 in the SP (or the RD for dance) her the “small medal” for that segment. Example: Brezina won the SP at the recent Euros and got the small gold medal but didn’t do well in the finals so ended off the podium.
They sometimes get prize money - it depends on the event.
For example, Grand Prix events award money as follows:
1 st place: US$ 18,000.00
2 nd place: US$ 13,000.00
3 rd place: US$ 9,000.00
4 th place: US$ 3,000.00
5 th place: US$ 2,000.00
And all other places get 200 dollars for single, and 300 for pair/dance.
For Worlds/Euros/4Cs the top 12 skaters/pair/dance teams all get prize money. Not sure of the current amounts... as of 5 years ago, Worlds was something like 45,000 for first place singles, 67,000 first place pair/dance, down to 2000 for 12th.
Skaters may also be awarded small medals for finishing in the top three in a segment of the competition, even if they don't end up on the podium overall. Here for example is the post-free dance small medal ceremony from 2010 Worlds. Davis and White won the FD (2nd overall), Virtue and Moir are the World Champions (2nd in the FD), Faiella and Scali are the bronze medalists and Pechalat/Bourzat were 3rd in the free skate.