Perhaps one of the most spectacular moments in sport is watching a figure skater defy gravity and perform elegant movements on the ice. Between the jumps, turns, and spins, these people seem to break the laws of physics (or enforce them, depending on your scientific knowledge). With the Winter Olympics fast approaching, we’re paying more attention to figure skaters than ever before. Figure skating is a craft that requires hard work, dedication, long hours of practice, many sacrifices, sweat, tears and sometimes blood. If one is to become a famous figure skater and desires to make a decent living out of the sport, years of training and a die-hard passion is a must.
The richest figure skaters had hugely successful competitive careers that included, but of course weren’t limited to, the Winter Olympics. It seems that to become truly wealthy from the sport, these skaters must first prove themselves on the ice and trounce the competition. Most skaters start young and begin competing in large venues against other countries in their mid-to-late teens. But even after the competitive years are over, many figure skaters will continue to tour in shows and perform for television specials, movies, and more.
Competing in the Winter Olympics definitely gives skaters the right kind of exposure on the road to gaining celebrity status. Of course, in the world of figure skating, the top athletes are already stars. But the attention, status and glamour of appearing on an internationally televised sport, competing against the best of the best around the world, can shoot these athletes into the wealthy world of endorsements and celebrity appearances. Don’t think that competitive skating is an easy door to stardom, though:In fact, one wrong move and careers can be forever ruined. We’ve collated information on the richest and / or most famous figure skaters in the world, and their net worths. From the tragic, to the startling, to the inspiring these ten stories reveal a dramatic world beyond the prettiness we witness on the ice…
10. Tonya Harding – $10,000
Tonya Harding is a two-time Olympian who was born on November 12th, 1970, and began skating at the age of three. When she was 12 years old, she landed her first triple lutz, and those around her knew that she was destined to do great things. She began to work her way up in competitive skating in the 1980’s and she made waves when she won Skate America twice. Harding earned celebrity status in the figure skating world when she became the first woman to complete a triple axel in a short program, two triple axels in a single competition, and the first ever to complete a triple axel combination with a double toe loop. At this point, Harding was making money and gaining recognition for her impressive talents on the ice. But that would all change, when the world came to know Harding by name because of her association with the attack on Nancy Kerrigan before the 1994 US Figure Skating Championship. Tonya’s attack left Kerrigan unable to skate the event which Harding would go on to win. The reason for her relatively tiny net worth compared to other high-profile skaters? The USFSA stripped her of her title and banned her as a skater and coach from future events for her involvement. She’s gone on to have a varied career; a sex tape, a reality TV stint and a boxing career have kept this former skating star in the spotlight.Next: 9. Tara Lipinski - $4 Million