The financial well-being of most Winter Olympic athletes pales in comparison with professional athletes like those NHL players that make up Team USA’s roster. However, thanks to endorsement deals, business investments, speaking events and cash prizes, they pull in a pretty penny too.
American’s skiing sweetheart Lindsey Vonn has a net worth of $3 million. Her sponsors include Red Bull, Rolex and Under Armour just to name a few. While most of her earnings comes from endorsements, she’s packed away $350,000 in prize money too. Although she was supposed to be NBC’s face of the Olympics, she will be sitting out due to a knee injury. (Maybe boyfriend Tiger Woods, who’s worth $500 million, can give her some tips for boosting sponsorships despite the setback.)
Also absent from this year’s Olympics is the recently retired Apolo Ohno. The eight-time Winter Olympic gold medalist has a net worth of $9 million. The speed skater not only scored himself endorsement deals, but also took advantage of other money-making opportunities – including appearing on the TV show Dancing with the Stars.
With so much potential to cash in on their Olympic success, we’ve compiled a list of the richest American athletes (excluding the NHLers making up Team USA) slated to make it to the 2014 Winter Olympics.
6. Gretchen Bleiler – Snowboarder – Net Worth: $1 million
After a devastating and freak accident while practicing in 2012 at the US Ski and Snowboard Association’s Center of Excellence, Gretchen Bleiler had to fight to get better and back on her board. It was a rough year and half for Bleiler, but now she’s competing for a spot at Sochi. Her strength and perseverance give her Go Pro Workouts Series even more clout (she charges $100 for one training program).
Bleiler has appeared in many magazines including Fitness, Shape and the ESPN Body Issue. The snowboarder also nabbed major sponsors including Kelloggs, Coca-Cola and AT&T. She also cashed in when she designed her own speciality apparel line for Oakley.