The highest-paid Olympic athletes of 2021

Mon 19 July 2021 | 18:00

As the Tokyo Olympics is eventually all set to take place, the excitement of sports fans has been doubled up to see how their superstars would perform in the tournament, while this is largely related to Olympic Athletes Annual Salary in 2021 too.

The concept of 5 Highest-Paid Olympic athletes has been so hyped up, that it was a sort of disappointment to see the underlying majority of them are retired ones who once upon a time took part in one or more editions of Olympics in their life.

In this regard, there comes a need to delve a bit further into the highest-paid Olympic athletes of 2021 who would specifically take part in the Tokyo Olympics as well.

In the list of the top 50 highest-paid athletes of 2021 provided by Forbes, we have picked up five sportsmen and women who are participating in the

Tokyo Olympics

, while a group of athletes on the list are not eligible to take part in the tournament because of their age, some are injured and the others prefer to prepare themselves for the other competitions.

But the reason why a disproportionate number of the highest-paid athletes in 2021 are not allowed to take part in the Tokyo Olympics is that a great majority of the richest sports like American Football and auto racing are not even part of the summer Olympics.

The highest-paid Olympic athletes of 2021

Here we would take you through the list of the highest-paid Olympic athletes of 2021 who are taking part in the Tokyo Olympics as well.

Rory McIlroy

  • Total earning in 2021 so far: $ 32 million

The Northern Irish professional golfer is a part of both the European and PGA Tours. He formerly earned the spot number one in the Official World Golf Ranking and remained in his position for more than 100 weeks in the span of his career. 

Accompanied by Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, he is honoured to be one of three players to win four majors just at the age of 25.

Moreover, Rory McIlroy has confirmed that he would take part in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, so as to make his debut appearance in the Olympics this year.

As Golf was reinstated as an Olympic sport in 2016, McIlroy skipped that edition of the Olympics in the face of his concerns over the Zika virus that was spreading in Brazil back then.

When he won his third and fourth majors in 2014, he was widely revered as the next Tiger Woods and it saw him get contract a huge endorsement deal with Nike.

In 2021, he has a net worth of around $120 million considering his career winnings and endorsement deals, therefore he is considered to be one of the top 10 richest golfers at the moment.

When it comes to the

Olympic Athletes Annual Salary

, one can suggest that he rakes $34 million a year just in endorsements. That is to say, his deals with Nike, Upper Deck, TaylorMade, and Omega make him golf’s four highest-paid player with $37.7 million in annual earnings.

His deal with TaylorMade is reported to be worth $100 million in the course of 10 years. But it seems that he tends not to hide his wealth as he possess a magnificent $9.5 million house in Florida and drives a $400,000 Lamborghini Aventador as well.

Novak Djokovic

  • Total earning in 2021 so far: $ 34.5 million

At the moment, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has ranked Serbian Novak Djokovic as the world No. 1 professional tennis player.

Throughout his career, he has been No. 1 for overall 330 weeks, and for a joint-record six occasions he has managed to finish as ATP year-end No. 1 too.

Not only he is assumed to be the only player who won all of the "Big Titles" on the modern ATP Tour, but he is also the only one in the Open Era who achieved a double career Grand Slam, as well as the only player to complete the career Golden Masters, while has amazingly done this twice.

But Djokovic rivalry with Rafael Nadal is honestly one of the most memorable entertaining matches in tennis history. In terms of his previous experiences in Olympic games, he won bronze at the  2008 Beijing Olympics in Beijing, where Nadal beat him in the semi-finals.

He also participated in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics but not only Andy Murray defeated him in the semi-finals, but also Juan Martin del Potro beat him in the bronze medal match too. This is while Del Potro beat him in the first round in the 2016 Rio Olympics as well.

Now his participation in the Tokyo Olympic tennis event is a huge boost while a chunk of high-profile tennis stars like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, and Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Games.

As Djokovic has already won the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon this year, he is three-fifths of the way in becoming the first man to win a so-called Golden Slam but if he only wins the singles gold medal in Tokyo and afterwards the US Open in New York too. Steffi Graf is the only woman who has done it in 1988.

  • Total earning in 2021 so far: $ 60 million

As a Japanese professional tennis player, she has earned the No. 1 spot in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ranking while she is the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles as well.

While her birthplace is Japan, she announced that she will compete for Japan in the 2021 Summer Olympics, as her first Olympic experience. This means that as a dual citizen she would relinquish her US citizenship, despite being raised there.

Many eyes have been attracted to her following a stellar year when she beat Serena Williams to the end of winning the 2018 US Open, thereafter becoming the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles tournament.

It goes without saying that she went on to win the 2020 US Open and in 2021 she was headed for the French Open too. However, she withdrew from it following that the French Open fined her for not attending the press conferences, as she did it for the sake of her mental health.

She also withdrew from Wimbledon in mid-June for the same reason and for spending time with her loved ones. So now she is totally prepared to shine in Tokyo Olympics being blessed with that period of rest. So with her participation in the tournament, she would become one of

the highest-paid Olympic athletes of 2021


Moreover, she is assumed to be the highest-paid female athlete ever, as she smashed her own mark from last year. While her sponsors are standing by her following her withdrawal from the French Open, while many experts believe that this move might make her even more marketable.

After all, when she is already a four-time Grand Slam singles champion at the age of 23, it is no wonder to see lots of deals coming her way. Not to mention, as of 2021, that she is still the reigning champion of the Australian Open and the US Open.

Naomi has raked $60 million in 12 months as she earned just $55 million from endorsements, breaking the earnings record for female athletes she set just last year with $37 million.

With that total, she cemented her place at No. 12 on the Forbes list of the world’s 50 highest-paid athletes while she made a significant jump from last year’s No. 29 ranking and fairly deserves to be among the highest-paid Olympic athletes of 2021.

It is fascinating to suggest that only Roger Federer, LeBron James and Woods made more cash from endorsements over the last 12 months. That is to say, most of her earnings comes from her endorsement deals as only $5.2 million of her 2020 yearly paycheck came from her games.

The remaining comes from her lucrative sponsorship deals, consisting of a $10 million per year partnership with Nike, a contract with Beats, Google, and her global ambassadorship with Louis Vuitton along with having more than 15 other endorsements partners.

Besides, she sometimes works with fashion and food brands like Levi’s, Sweetgreen and Frankie’s Bikinis and in July 2021, just ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, she made her foray into toys as well.

Since she got her very own Barbie designed after her as the doll, with a retailing amount of $29.99 sold out right away after it went on sale and this speaks volume about her popularity.

Celebrity Net Worth estimated her net worth to be $25 million, however, it hasn’t yet been updated and her $55.2 million earnings from 2020 have not been considered yet. Therefore her net worth in 2021 is a lot more than that and it would undoubtedly increase staggeringly in the upcoming years so as to make her part of our

5 Highest-Paid Olympic Athletes


Kevin Durant

  • Total earning in 2021 so far: $ 40.5 million

Lillard is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Widely known with the Nickname "Dame Time" due to his history of making big shots in the clutch, he has earned six NBA All-Star selections and is honoured to be one of two players in Trail Blazers franchise history to become a six-time All-Star.

He is heading to the Olympics for the first time as his name was among the USA Basketball finalized 12-man roster as they are bidding for a fourth successive gold medal.

So Tokyo Olympics would be his debut experience at Olympics since he withdrew from the 2016 edition in the face of his injury, but he might get considerable playing time this time around.

At the same time, this season is assumed to be one of the best seasons of his career, as he posted averages of 28.8 points, 7.5 assists, and 4.2 rebounds and finished seventh-overall in MVP voting.

It is notable to suggest that along with LeBron James he is one of only two players who managed to average at least 25 points per game in each of the last six seasons.

Yet, his experience with USA Basketball is limited in so far as he represented his senior national team just four times, while the lastest was in 2014.

For someone of his stature, he utterly deserves to have a net worth of around $70 million as of 2021 so as to be among one of

the highest-paid Olympic athletes of 2021

. As Lillard got contracted a two-year, $6.3 million deal with the Trail Blazers, he is earning $43.75 million this season with them.

While he has made around an estimated number of $151 million from his time in the NBA so far, a major part of his income comes from his endorsement deal with Adidas.

In 2014, he made his mind to opt-out of his then-deal with Adidas, as it makes him a desired shoe free agent. But Adidas immediately attempted to retain him as they locked him into a new 10-year deal worth $100 million since they did not want him to match offers from other companies.

In 2017, Lillard grabbed endorsement with Panini America, which is a company specialized in the distribution of sports cards and exclusive memorabilia for an unrevealed exclusive deal.

Likewise, he managed to secure his latest endorsement with Hulu once more, which is one of the streaming services in recent years that provides live streaming including sports channels.

Having said all of these three deals, Forbes has claimed that Lillard has raked roughly $14.5 million per year from his endorsements alone. Yet as one of the 5 Highest-Paid Olympic Athletes, his success would not end here since he is a well-known figure in the music industry as well.

He is one of the very few NBA players who flourishingly makes a transition between the two whenever he wants. So far, he has released three studio albums under his pseudonym of Dame D.O.L.L.A. Just very recently, he even collaborated with the famous artist Lil Wayne in performing a song at the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.

Naomi Osaka

  • Total earning in 2021 so far: $ 75 million

As an American professional basketball player of the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA), he has won awards like the NBA Championship, Most Vulnerable Player, and Finals MVP Awards.

Being widely referred to as one of the best active players in the NBA, in his 45 career games with USA Basketball so far, he has averaged 19.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists.

He was a leading part of the Olympic 2012 and 2016 gold medal-winning squads, while his point totals in both of them are assumed to be the two highest single competition totals in USA men’s basketball history.

Being a part of the 2021 U.S Olympic Men’s Basketball Team roster for the Tokyo Olympics, he is going to win his third gold medal, to smash the men’s U.S. Olympic record for career points and to prove that he is the best player in the world.

Along with Draymond Green, he is one of the only two players who has returned from the Olympic 2016 squad, while Kevin Love is the only other member of the roster who has Olympic experience, accompanying Durant at the 2012 London Olympics.

As one of the

highest-paid Olympic athletes of 2021

with a raft of impressive victories, he has a whooping net worth of around $220 million.

It is fascinating to suggest that Djokovic has gained more money from on-court winnings than any other tennis player in history while his career earnings exceeded over $150 million for the first time in July 2021. Precisely as saying, he solely has made $144 million in tournament prizes surpassing Federer's $129 million.

Moreover, he has had endorsement deals with Uniqlo, Mercedes-Benz, Seiko, Lacoste, tennis racquet giant Head, NetJets, Seiko Watch Corporation, Peugeot, FitLine and Ultimate Software.

Now the article has reached its inspiring climax as Djokovic as one of our highest-paid Olympic athletes is assumed to be the most benevolent philanthropist in the list. So wishing him to win the gold medal in Tokyo Olympics would undoubtedly increase the goodness of the world.

In 2007, he founded the Novak Djokovic Foundation with a mission of helping children from disadvantaged communities to raise and develop in safe environments.

He contributed to a disproportionate number of charity matches to raise funds for the reconstruction of the Avala Tower, to aid victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and 2010–11 Queensland floods.

He was also involved in many other charity projects whether with the contributions of his foundation or as a UNICEF national ambassador, to such an extent that he was selected as the 2012 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year. Likewise, in August 2015, he was elected as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Most recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, he and his wife agreed to donate €1 million for the purchase of ventilators and medical equipment to support hospitals and other medical institutions in Serbia.

Damian Lillard

As one of the most accomplished players in USA Basketball history, he utterly deserves to be one of the highest-earning basketball players in the world. With a net worth of around $170 million, he is one of the richest basketball players in the world alongside Stephen Curry and LeBron James.

Just between June 2019 and June 2020, Kevin made $65 million from his myriad efforts. After he spent three seasons with the Golden State Warriors, he got contracted a four-year $164 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets in 2019.

As long as Olympic Athletes Annual Salary is concerned, he earns $30 million annually from his NBA salary, while he also rakes a whopping amount of $26 million per year from Nike. Just from these two sources, he receives $56 million as annual income.

Likewise, he totally makes $36 million from endorsement deals with companies like Gatorade, Nike, Degree, etc. It means that $35 million out of $65 million that he earns in a given year comes from his endorsements.

In addition, as an active tech investor, with more than 40 early-stage technology investments, he possesses small stakes in several companies including Postmates and investment app Acorns.

Not to mention that as a philanthropist, he often leads the league in All-Star votes and jersey sales. Just recently, he has contributed to The Players' Tribune as both a photographer and writer.

In 2012, he involved himself to act and appear in the film Thunderstruck, while his media company has production deals with Fox, ESPN, Apple, and Showtime as well.



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source: SportMob