Top 10 richest Olympians ever

Sat 17 July 2021 | 18:00

With the arrival of the postponed Tokyo Olympics, a sense of curiosity is aroused to know those superstars whose success saw them accumulate an eye-watering amount of money. Here it is the list of the 10 Highest-Paid Olympians in the world.

As you might have been mesmerized by the performance of your favourite top Olympic athletes, you would found yourself wondering just how much they are making money and even it might have crossed your mind that whose earnings are more than the others.

But if we ask these athletes, an underlying majority of them will tell us that their passion for the game and not money is the mere reason that they are competing for.

Therefore the Olympics are not certainly a big moneymaker for participating sportsmen with having in mind the exception of a number of Olympians who have prosperous endorsement deals.

Yet we do not mean that you can’t make money as an Olympian since there is tangible evidence of such rich Olympic athletes who are bringing home some serious cash which is quite unbelievable so as to ironically convince you to quit your own profession and pursue a sports career.

Otherwise stated, aside from etching their names in history books and achieving worldwide recognition, they could also build up a pretty extravagant lifestyle for themselves.

Having said all of these, we would take you through the list of the top 10 Richest Olympians of All Time, considering their net worth estimates and the journey in which they’ve managed to rake in such hefty amounts of money.

The top 10 richest Olympians ever

Here is the list of the 10 Richest Olympic Athletes that are ranked on the basis of their updated current net worth.

Shaquille O'Neal

  • Net worth 2021: $400 million

As an American retired professional basketball player, he is now an entrepreneur and a sports analyst In the television program Inside the NBA.

He is widely revered as one of the greatest basketball players and centres of all time. With his good stature of 7-foot-1-inch (2.16 m) and 325-pound (147 kg), he featured for six teams in his 19-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) while he is a four-time NBA champion.

As one of the top 10 richest Olympians ever, he just participated in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, as he started three games when the US team dominated and received the gold medal, winning each of the games by at least 20 points.

He achieved this feat accompanying some of the biggest names of the era like Scotty Pippen, Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley.

He amazingly has a whopping net worth of $400 million. He gained $292 million in salary merely during his time in the NBA. Moreover, he earned well over $200 million from his sponsorships back then.

In spite of the fact that he has been retired for numerous years, he still earns huge paychecks through endorsement deals, for a total of $60 million per year.

But aside from that, he has been tactful enough to invest his money cleverly on the right path, with a number of his investments being Google and Apple.

Likewise, he possesses many restaurants, gyms and car washes too which have seen him be considered as one of the 10 Highest-Paid Olympians in the world.

Roger Federer

  • Net worth 2021: $450 million

As a professional tennis player from Switzerland, he has reached the No. 9 spot in the world ranking of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He also managed to win 103 ATP singles titles, which is the second-most of all-time just behind Jimmy Connors.

While many people regard him as the greatest tennis player of all time, he competed at four Summer Olympics for his native Switzerland.

He succeeded to win the Olympic silver medal for the men’s singles competition of the 2012 London Summer Olympics. He also won a gold medal in the men’s doubles event of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics alongside Stan Wawrinka.

Therefore as one of the greatest tennis players of his generation, Roger Federer is considered to be among the top 10 richest Olympians ever. Amazingly Federer has taken home more than $130 million in his winnings over the span he played professional Tennis.

Yet this is just a small portion of his earnings. In the light of his star status, he has “an unmatched portfolio of lucrative endorsement deals.” Therefore just like many other sports stars, his sponsorship deals nets him a whopping amount of money.

Reportedly he makes 40 to 50 million euros per year from endorsements like Nike, National Suisse, Credit Suisse, Rolex, Lindt, Gillette, Mercedes-Benz, Barilla, and Wilson Sporting Goods. Besides, he switched from Nike to Uniqlo in 2018, as he made a 10-year, $300 million agreement with them.

In essence, these revenue streams have made him incredibly affluent so as to be added to the list of the top 10 Richest Olympic Athletes with an estimated net worth of around $450 million.

Floyd Mayweather Jr

  • Net worth 2021: $450 million

As an American retired professional boxer, he is a boxing promoter now, while he competed in a span between 1996 and 2015 and made a one-fight comeback in 2017 as well.

In his career journey, he succeeded to win fifteen major world championships from super featherweight to light-middleweight. As a true legend, it is to be said that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has never lost a fight in his pro career, with a 50-0 record.

But his Olympic performance was not that much a great feat, as he only won a bronze medal in the flyweight competition at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

In fact in his battle at the Olympics, firstly, he lost in a controversial decision to Bulgarian Serafim Todorov, but when the U.S. team mounted a protest successfully, he finally received the bronze medal so as to be included among the top 10 richest Olympians ever.

Yet as an amateur player he won three U.S. Golden Gloves championships and the U.S. national championship as well. He also is widely regarded as the greatest since Muhammad Ali, while he earned massive paychecks for the mega-fights like his bout with Conor McGrewor.

While Floyd Mayweather's net worth is $450 million he has earned more than $1.1 billion throughout his career journey. That is to say, he earned over a half-billion dollars from just his two fights as he received $250 million in 2015 fighting Manny Pacquiao and also achieved $300 million fighting Conor McGregor in 2017.

But outside of the ring, he often earns $10 million from his endorsements annually as well and thus is ranked among the 10 Richest Olympians of All Time.

LeBron James

  • Net worth 2021: $500 million

Probably the most successful Olympian on this list of the

top 10 richest Olympic Athletes

, is LeBron James who has anchored the title of winning three Olympics medals to his name.

He is an American entrepreneur and a professional basketball player who currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) while he signed a two-year $85 million contract extension with them until 2023.

He is widely revered as one of the best players in history and is frequently compared to Michael Jordan in the dispute of determining the greatest basketball player ever. A three-time NBA champion has also won four NBA MVP Awards and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award as well.

Moreover, King James won three Olympic medals with Team USA, while he earned 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics gold medals and 2004 Athens bronze medal. But just like many other NBA superstars, he would not participate in the Tokyo Olympics.

Most incredibly, he is the highest-paid basketball star in the world at the moment, as he earned more than $134 million through salary and endorsement deals in the 2019-20 season.

He has made endorsement deals with chunks of companies like McDonalds, Microsoft, State Farm, Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola, Dunkin-Donuts, Baskin Robbins, Samsung, Nike etc.

At the moment he has a net worth of around $500 million while in each year he earns approximately $40 million in salary from the NBA and about $55 million from endorsements so as to make his total annual income reach the number of  $100 million and become one of top 10 richest Olympians ever.

Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Net worth 2021: $500 million

While the Portuguese soccer player is widely revered as one of the greatest players of all time, he flourishingly has won five Ballons d'Or and four European Golden Shoes; which is the most, won by a European player.

Along with winning 32 major trophies in his career, he also participated in the 2004 Olympics as a 19-year-old player; yet he failed to win a medal as Portugal were eliminated before the medal round.

Since then he has not played a role in any other Olympic games. Although that was enough to consider him among one of

the 10 Highest-Paid Olympians in the world

as he currently boasts a lucrative contract that is worth roughly $33 million each season with Italian club Juventus.

This means that until 2022 he earns an average of $64 million annually. It goes without saying that in 2020, he became the first active team-sport sportsman to exceed $1 billion in his career earnings.

As one of the highest-paid entertainers on the planet who is also one of the 10 Richest Olympians of All Time, he has a net worth of around $500 million.

Just in 2020, he achieved $120 million which is consisted of approximately $70 million from salary and $50 million from endorsements with companies like Nike and several others.

Apart from his huge lifetime contract with Nike which is worth over $1 billion, he also earns money with his other significant endorsements with CR7-branded clothing, accessories, hotels and gyms.

Magic Johnson

  • Net worth 2021: $600 million

Magic Johnson is one of the biggest names ever in basketball as he is an American retired professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

With anchoring the titles of three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations to his name, he is often referred to as the best point guard of all time.

Although he had been diagnosed as HIV positive, along with Larry Bird he took the responsibility of co captaining the Dream Team for USA Basketball in the 1992 Olympics as they easily picked up a gold medal having Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and many other massive names in their team.

In his playing career, he raked over $18 million in salary and even several million more from his endorsements. It means that a great majority of Johnson’s money is earned through his company, Magic Johnson Enterprises that has led him to become a member of the top 10 richest Olympians ever.

Precisely as saying, after he was retired, he launched a business empire called Magic Johnson Enterprises which currently has a value of more than $1 billion that has ended up earning him a net worth of $600 million.

These Enterprises possess Magic Johnson Theaters, a movie studio, and a promotional marketing company. It also invests in numerous niches and has partnerships with names like Sony and Starbucks.

Likewise, while he co-owns basketball, baseball and soccer teams, in 1994 he paid $10 million to buy 5% of The Lakers whereas then in 2010, he sold it to billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong for a reportedly $50-60 million.

Lionel Messi

  • Net worth 2021: $600 million

As the best player in the world or better say one of the greatest players of all time, incredibly he has won six Ballon d'Or awards, six European Golden Shoes, and in 2020 he was honoured to be called the Ballon d'Or Dream Team.

While his entire professional career was spent with Barcelona, unlike his rival who failed to win a medal at the 2004 Olympics, the Argentinean soccer star earned himself an Olympic gold medal for Team Argentina in the 2008 Beijing Games as he scored twice in the tournament; therefore, he is assumed to be among the

top 10 Richest Olympians of All Time


In 2017 he got contracted an earth-shattering agreement that saw him earn an average base annual salary of $168 million.

He also earns approximately $40 million annually from endorsements, which signifies that he most probably earns roughly $200 million each year so as to make his net worth reach a whooping number of $600 million.

Likewise, he has a lifetime endorsement deal with Adidas being sponsored since 2006 as it worths about $12 million per year, along with sponsorship contracts with Pepsi, MasterCard and Huawei as well, so these are the reasons why he is included in the list of the top 10 Olympians ever.

Michael Jordan

  • Net worth 2021: $1.6 billion

Jordan is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist and retired professional basketball player and is much known for being the principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and of 23XI Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series.

As the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball, during his span of 15 seasons in the NBA, he won six championships with the Chicago Bulls.

Michael Jordan competed for Team USA at the two Olympics in 1984 and 1992 and won two gold medals as well when he was still playing college basketball at UNC in the former one. Therefore he must be included in the list of the

top 10 richest Olympians ever


During his professional playing, he made less than $100 million as the NBA's greatest player of all time, but that hasn't prevented him from becoming a billionaire with a net worth of around $1.6 billion, as he made a great part of it after his retirement in 2003.

He earned such an eye-watering net worth, owing to the value of his NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets while he had bought it in 2010 just for $175 million.

But part of his fortune is also earned through his movies and savvy business and endorsement deals with companies like Nike and Gatoradedeals and movies.

Likewise, he has been a spokesman for brands like Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Gatorade, McDonald's, Ball Park Franks, Rayovac, Hanes and Wheaties too to end of becoming an indispensable part of the top 10 richest Olympians ever.

Ion Tiriac

  • Net worth 2021: $1.7 billion

He is a Romanian entrepreneur and retired professional tennis and ice hockey player who is currently the president of the Romanian Tennis Federation.

Indeed, he is not that much known as one of the top 10 richest Olympians ever, but he did compete in the hockey tournament at the 1964 Winter Olympics, where they ended up earning just the the12th spot. Afterwards, he became a professional tennis player in the 1970s.

From his little fame as a sportsman, it is evident this is not the Sport that gave him his bundles of cash. Therefore following his tennis career, he pivoted to an extremely prosperous profession outside the sports as a successful entrepreneur who has invested in insurance companies, car dealerships, and petroleum companies.

He even has a museum in his possession, as he displays his luxurious personal car collection of Bentleys, Lamborghinis, and Ferraris there.

In essence with having a net worth of around $1.7 billion, you would also agree with us to add him among one of the

top 10 richest Olympians ever.

The Winklevoss Brothers

  • Combined Net worth 2021: $6 billion

These twins brothers are American cryptocurrency and Bitcoin investors, entrepreneurs, and founders of Winklevoss Capital Management and Gemini cryptocurrency exchange who are also Olympic rowers so as to earn the number one spot among the

top 10 richest Olympians ever


If you have watched The Social Network, a movie which is about the founding of Facebook, you might have been familiar with the Winklevoss twins, who sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, as they claimed that he stole their ConnectU idea in founding the famous social networking site Facebook.

They are also widely popular for co-founding HarvardConnection (later renamed ConnectU) accompanying with Harvard classmate Divya Narendra. But what has not gained that much popularity, is the fact that these identical twin brothers are rowing partners too.

To such an extent that they competed in the men's pair rowing event at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing finishing in sixth place without winning any medal though.

As Cameron and Tyler are immensely popular for being one of the top 10 Richest Olympians of All Time, a great majority of their money comes from the cryptocurrency of Bitcoin.

Likewise, in 2014, they founded the cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini, as the company currently offers trading and support for more than 30 various cryptocurrencies and is assumed to be one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. So through Gemini Space Station, Tyler and Cameron have invested in over 25 digital asset startups as well.

Most amazingly of all is the fact that one of their highest-flying investments is Bitcoin lender Block-Fi, which raised $350 million at a $3 billion valuation in March 2021 as it earned them a combined net worth of $6 Billion Fortune. Yet they are still far from Mark Zuckerberg's $123 billion net worth.


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