These famous Olympians make millions both on and off the field. From huge sponsorship deals to savvy business investments, they’re making headlines across the globe.
Eddy Merckx is one of the most successful cyclists of all time and won multiple Grand Tours and stage races. The 82-year-old is now a wealthy businessman with his own brand of bicycles.
1. Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt is one of the most famous sprinters in history and is also among the richest Olympians. The Jamaican sprinter is a global icon and has earned the nickname “The Bolt” for his incredible speed.
He has a fierce loyalty to his homeland and turned down track scholarships to American colleges in order to stay at home and train in Jamaica. This paid off when he won multiple gold medals in the Olympics and broke multiple world records throughout his career.
During his peak, Bolt made a lot of money from endorsement deals with global brands. He even has his own line of sportswear, Puma Bolt. The star also donates to charity and even adopted an abandoned cheetah in Kenya.
2. Ivana Trump
A former competitive skier, Ivana Trump built her wealth as a model and brand advocate. She modeled strength and tenacity throughout her life and career.
Known for her heavy accent and directness, the model was a natural at business. She was a major fashion force in her own right and a champion of other designers.
She once described herself as “the most powerful woman in the world.” Those who knew her in real estate say she was a key player at the Trump Organization, especially on the Plaza Hotel project. She was also a formidable figure when it came to retail. She once modeled a finale look for designer Dennis Basso.
3. Lionel Messi
He has won every award there is to win as a soccer player. In 2022, he led his team to the World Cup title after years of heartache.
Growing up poor in Rosario, Argentina, Messi tagged along with his older brothers as they played soccer. He was smaller than other kids, but his talent for the game helped him rise to prominence.
He is a four-time Ballon d’Or winner and has been voted the best player in the world multiple times. Off the field, he is a married father of three and founded the Leo Messi Foundation. This is a nonprofit organization that supports programs bringing education, clean water, and health care to children around the globe.
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4. LeBron James
LeBron James is one of the most accomplished athletes of all time, he has won multiple NBA championships and is known for his philanthropic work in his hometown of Akron. He is a part owner of several companies including Blaze Pizza and Fenway Sports Group, where he holds a 2% stake in Liverpool FC.
Forbes estimates that he makes an annual salary of $44.5 million and has a total net worth of over $5 billion. The majority of his wealth comes from a long list of endorsement deals. He also has investments such as a stake in Beats by Dre which was sold to Apple for $3 billion and shares of fitness company Beachbody which acquired Ladder, a sports nutrition brand he co-founded with Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 2020.
5. Cristiano Ronaldo
The next soccer player on our list is the one of the greatest players ever to grace a football pitch. Cristiano Ronaldo has earned a huge fortune throughout his career and is worth more than $2 billion.
Ronaldo has a contract that is worth around $60 million per year with Juventus and also has an enormous lifetime Nike deal. This makes him one of the highest-paid athletes on the planet.
Ion Tiriac competed in the ice hockey tournament at the 1964 Olympics, but he has made his money primarily through business deals and investments. The 82-year-old Romanian founded Banca Tiriac, which became the country’s first private bank after the fall of communism.
6. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
No one competes at the Olympics for the money, but winning a medal can do wonders for an athlete’s finances. Several Olympians have become extremely wealthy beyond their sport, either through professional sports, endorsement deals or by becoming successful entrepreneurs.
He’s earned the nickname “Money” for good reason, with an estimated net worth of $1 billion. He started boxing as an amateur, winning a bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
His career in the ring was a remarkable one, earning him dozens of titles across four weight classes. His most recent fight against UFC champ Conor McGregor brought in $200 million. He also gives back, sponsoring a number of charitable causes, including Three Square Food Bank.
7. Tyler Winklevoss
The Olympics may be about glory and prestige, but for some Olympians it can mean plenty of money as well. Those who have found the key to combining great athletic prowess with smart business decisions are able to make some serious cash.
Tyler Winklevoss and his twin brother Cameron are best known for their lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook, but the twins also competed in the coxless pairs at the 2008 Olympic Games. Their rowing team won a gold medal.
Basketball superstar Michael Jordan is worth more than $2 billion thanks to savvy business deals and movie deals. He also has endorsement deals and is a part owner of the Charlotte Hornets.
8. Michael Jordan
While nobody competes in the Olympians strictly for the money, success on the world stage can certainly boost an athlete’s bank account. Some athletes, like Michael Phelps and Simone Biles, have become enormously wealthy as a result of their Olympic accomplishments.
Caitlyn Jenner, a 1976 Olympic decathlon medalist, also has a high net worth due to her status as a major TV personality.
Shaun White is one of the most famous snowboarders of all time and his three Olympic golds have boosted his net worth. He makes most of his money from endorsement deals, however. His most recent deal was with Adidas and he has previously been linked to Nike.