9 Highest Paid Olympic Athletes Of 2012
When most people think of Olympic athletes, they think of young men and women scraping by on nothing more than hard work and determination. And for the most part, that’s true. Chasing an Olympic dream is not usually a means to financial security. For the vast majority of athletes, it’s a labor of love that will cost far more in time and money than it will ever generate.
However, for a select few, the Olympics offer a chance to cash in. High profile medal winners are sometimes able to land lucrative endorsement deals. And while professional athletes who compete in the games won’t be directly compensated, they too will be able to pad their resumes and land more endorsements, resulting in even more money to throw on the pile. With that in mind, here’s a look at the nine highest paid athletes at this years Olympic games.
Clippers point guard Chris Paul is one of five NBA players to make our top nine. But with only $19.2 million to show from the past year, he's at the bottom of the list. That said, if you're going to be ranked last in something, "least richest athlete" is probably your best option.
9. Chris Paul ($19.2 million)
Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is the first tennis player to make the list, but certainly not the last. Over the course of the past year, Djokovic made an estimated $19.8 million. And over the next two weeks, he's looking to add some precious metals to his portfolio.
8. Novak Djokovic ($19.8 million)
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt is the only person on this list whose fortune is directly tied to his Olympic performances. After his stunning wins at the 2008 games, Bolt signed endorsement deals with the likes of Gatorade and Nissan. Puma alone is reported to have paid the sprinter $9 million, bringing his total for last year to $20.3 million.
7. Usain Bolt ($20.3 million)
Knicks' star Carmelo Anthony takes the number-six spot on our list. With an estimated $22.9 million in the bank from last-year's exploits, we're thinking that "Melo" can probably afford to take the finical hit of playing for free the next two weeks.
6. Carmelo Anthony ($22.9 million)
The third member of Team USA to make the list is Kevin Durant, who earned an estimated $25.5 million over the past year. While his Oklahoma City Thunder were only able to land silver in this year's NBA finals, I think he's got a much better chance of going all the way in London. But either way, he's rich. If he loses, I don't really give a damn.
5. Kevin Durant ($25.5 million)
The highest paid female athlete at this year's games is Maria Sharapova. The Russian beauty made an estimated $27.1 million over the last year. That's about 872 million Russian Rubles, for those of you who are keeping track. I bet she's glad they dropped that whole communism thing.
4. Maria Sharapova ($27.1 million)
Even if Kobe and Team USA don't bring home the gold, something tells me he'll be able get over it. After all, when you've made $52.3 million in the span of 365 days, it's hard to feel too badly about anything.
3. Kobe Bryant ($52.3 million)
For being arguably the most hated figure in American sports, it seems Americans still have no problem with throwing money at LeBron James (or letting him bring home the gold). With an estimated $53 million in the bank from last year alone, it's a safe bet that James could buy and sell most of the other players he'll come up against in London.
2. LeBron James ($53 million)
Swiss tennis pro Roger Federer tops the list raking in an estimated $54.3 million over the past 12 months. Obviously, winning another Wimbledon title recently brought in some cash, but the bulk of his fortune was made via endorsement deals with companies like Nike, Rolex, and Mercedes-Benz. With deals like that, one more gold medal will probably go unnoticed in the Federer household.