Citius, altius, fortius. The Olympic motto stands for faster, higher and stronger. To these, the following athletes can also add the word richer. Here is the top 10 richest Olympians in the world.
10. Li Na (Tennis), China – $18.4 million
Li Na is a tennis player from China who has won seven WTA titles and 19 ITF crowns. She is one of the top five women tennis players in the world, even getting as high as number four back in 2011. She is the first player from Asia to ever compete in a Grand Slam final when she reached the title match in the 2011 Australian Open. She then became the first player from Asia to win a Grand Slam crown when she won the French Open that same year. Her winning ways, combined with the fact that she comes from the most populous nation in the planet, has made her an advertising darling. She has deals with a number of Chinese companies, along with Nike, Samsung, Mercedes Benz, Haagen Dazs and Babolat.
9. Chris Paul (Basketball), United States – $19.2 million
Chris Paul is one of the best point guards in the world. After attending Wake Forest University for a couple of years, he declared himself eligible for the NBA draft in 2005 and was promptly snapped up with the fourth pick by the New Orleans Hornets. He won Rookie of the Year honor and has since been a regular member of the All-Star game and the All-Defensive team. He has won two Olympic gold medals. He currently plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, which he has helped revive after decades of futile campaigns. His sponsors include the Jordan brand of Nike, Jeep, Upper Deck and Powerade.
8. Novak Djokovic (Tennis), Serbia – $19.8 million
Novak Djokovic is currently the best tennis player in the world. He is also considered as one of the greatest of all time, having won six Grand Slam single crowns, including four Australian Opens, one Wimbledon and one US Open. He won the bronze medal in the singles competition during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Aside from the huge prize money that he has earned, he also has a lucrative clothing deal with the Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo.
7. Usain Bolt (Track and Field), Jamaica – $20.3 million
Usain Bolt ran his way to international consciousness after he easily won the 100-meter dash in world record time during the 2008 Olympics. And to think that he achieved the feat while slowing down way before the finish line to celebrate! He won the gold medal in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400-meter relay in both 2008 and 2012. His main sponsor is Puma, which pays him $9 million per year for his endorsement. He also endorses Gatorade, Nissan, Visa and Hublot.
6. Carmelo Anthony (Basketball), United States – $22.9 million
Carmelo Anthony is one of the most talented offensive players in basketball. He first achieved fame after leading Syracuse in his freshman year to its first NCAA basketball title. He then jumped to the NBA where he was chosen third overall by the Denver Nuggets. After leading the Nuggets to several playoff appearances, Anthony was traded to the New York Knicks in 2011. He has led the Knicks to the division title this year. He is sponsored by Nike’s Jordan brand.
5. Kevin Durant (Basketball), United States – $25.5 million
Kevin Durant is one of the marquee players in the NBA today. After one year as College Player of the Year with the University of Texas, he joined the NBA draft in 2007 where he was chosen second overall by the Seattle Supersonics. He is the youngest player to win the scoring crown. He currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder. His main sponsors are Nike, Sprint, Gatorade, General Electric, Panini and 2K Sports.
4. Maria Sharapova (Tennis), Russia – $27.1 million
Maria Sharapova is a marketer’s dream because of her extremely good looks and statuesque figure. She also has the talent to match her beauty, having won all four tennis Grand Slam titles, aside from 24 other WTA crowns. She is only the sixth woman to ever win all four major titles. She also won the silver medal in the 2012 London Olympics. Sharapova endorses Nike, Head, Evian, Samsung and Tag Heuer.
3. Kobe Bryant (Basketball), United States – $52.3 million
TNT and Sporting News adjudged Kobe Bryant to be the top NBA player of the 2000s. He won gold medals in both 2008 and 2012 Olympics, sacrificing his offense to take on the primary defensive duty of stopping the other team’s top player. He came straight out of high school in 1996 and was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets, which immediately traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers. He has won five NBA crowns and has been an all star 15 times. He endorses Nike and Turkish Airlines. His jersey has been a consistent top seller around the world, topping the charts in 2012 in China, Latin America and Europe.
2. Lebron James (Basketball), United States – $53 million
Lebron James came straight out of high school to the NBA in 2003 where the Cleveland Cavaliers chose him as the first pick. Though he led the Cavs to several deep runs in the playoffs, the team never got the title it desperately hoped for when it took James. To make matters worse, he decided to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat in 2010. Though the team lost in the finals in 2011, it has since stepped things up and won the crown the following year. It has also dominated the regular season this year. He has already won three MVP awards. He endorses Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, State Farm and Dunkin’ Donuts.
1. Roger Federer (Tennis), Switzerland – $54.3 million
Roger Federer is considered as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He has won 17 Grand Slam titles and has appeared in the finals of each major at least five times. He endorses Nike, Gillette, Jura, Rolex, Mercedes Benz and Lindt. He won the silver medal in the singles competition in the 2012 Olympics and the gold in men’s doubles with Stanislas Wawrinka in 2008.
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