Movie and TV stars aren’t the only ones making big money. It turns out that being a successful Olympic athlete pays off like crazy! This mostly applies to the gold/silver medal winners, of course, but a good brand deal can make a wealthy person out of anyone who’s even semi-famous.
Here are the top 8 richest Olympic athletes in 2021.
1. Shaun White – The King of Extreme ($60 million)
Shaun White is a legendary American snowboarder who got 3 gold medals on his bookshelf before he hit 34. Not to mention he’s been a millionaire since he was 20 years old. The guy knows a thing or two about brand deals, successfully working with big names like Burton, Birdhouse, Adio, Red Bull, GoPro, and even Ubisoft, to name a few.
2. Michael Phelps – Uncanny Swimmer ($80 million)
This prolific 36-year-old swimmer has won not 5, not 10, but 28 Olympic medals, 23 of which are gold. It’s the absolute world record, and Phelps has been using his fame to get contracts with Kellogg, Louis Vuitton, Speedo, Visa, and other brands. These deals make him around $10 million each year, and that’s probably on a bad year.
3. Usain Bolt – The Jamaican Flash ($90 million)
Without a doubt, the fastest man in history deserves a good paycheck. I don’t understand how a person can run 100 meters in 9.58 seconds or 200 meters in 19.19 seconds, but if I were Bolt, I’d get sponsored by companies like Puma, Gatorade, Virgin Media, and other relevant brands. And that’s exactly what Usain did, which in turn made him incredibly rich!
4. Caitlyn Jenner – Decathlon Prodigy ($100 million)
Caitlyn won her first gold medal in the 1976 Olympics when she was still a man. Her transition took place only a few years back, in 2015, when Bruce Jenner came out as a transgender woman. Her previous Olympic accolades netted her big contracts with Coca-Cola and IBM, but it was reality TV that really kept the oil burning.
5. Serena Williams – Unmatched Tennis Queen ($225 million)
The goddess of tennis may have won only three Olympic gold medals, but that was over $94 million in prize money. On average, Serena is earning $7-8 million each year from swinging the racket and nearly triples that amount with brand deals from Wilson, Pepsi, Intel, Aston Martin, and others. Last but not least, Serena has her own clothing line ventures, which generate a good chunk of extra money for her.
6. Floyd Mayweather Jr. – Wicked Boxing Champ ($1.2 billion)
The 44-year-old American boxer has recently become a billionaire, with a net worth of $1.2 billion, boosting it from $500 million by the two biggest brawls in recent years: vs. Conor McGregor and vs. Manny Pacquiao. These two alone netted him $650 million. If you add all the side deals to the pot, and you’ll get way over $1 billion.
7. Anna Kasprzak – The Equestrian Princess ($1.4 billion)
Anna Kasprzak loves horses and even entered the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. But the bulk of her net worth comes from the Danish shoe manufacturer – Ecco. Basically, her family owns the company that prints money 24/7 since the shoes are sold in 90 countries.
8. Ion Tiriac – Romanian Tennis God ($1.7 billion)
Ion Tiriac started off as a hockey player in 1964 but soon realized that tennis was the way to go. It was the big tennis that made this Romanian athlete a billionaire. He was largely flying under the radar then started getting sponsorships from Romanian banks and such. Ion’s career as a tennis player and then personal trainer was long and arduous, so when in 2007, Tiriac squeezed himself into the Forbes Top 1000 richest people on the planet, the whole world learned about the Romanian legend with $1.1 billion. By 2014, his net worth rose up to the $2 billion mark, making Ion Tiriac the richest athlete in the world. After spending quite a few million on Al Capone’s, Elton John’s, and other famous cars, his treasury took a big hit, but he still remains the #1 richest Olympic star in the world.