Former Olympic Athletes Who Now Have Huge Bank Accounts
It wasn't until 1986 that professional athletes were allowed to compete in the Olympic Games, which is why before that date, many of the world's best athletes refrained from participating in the Olympics.
Because of that rule change, in more recent years, many Olympians have ended up with bank accounts worth tens of millions of dollars. Some were already there or well on their way to their fortunes before their runs in the Olympics, while others' careers were jump-started by their Olympic success.
Ray Bourque - $20 Million
Ray Bourque competed in the 1998 Winter Olympics in ice hockey for Canada. Though his team didn’t win a medal, that wasn’t a reflection of his exceptional hockey career overall. Bourque played for the NHL and was awarded the James Norris Memorial Trophy for best defender five times.
Oksana Baiul - $20 Million
Oksana Baiul is the only Ukrainian skater to ever win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics. She won her gold in 1994 at age 16, beating American skater Nancy Kerrigan by a slim margin and becoming one of the youngest Olympic figure skating champions of all time.
Caroline Wozniacki - $20 Million
Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki competed in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, though she never won a medal. Despite that, she’s still a fantastic athlete and one of the highest-paid former Olympians out there. She has a total of 30 singles titles to her name, including one Grand Slam title.
Carl Lewis - $20 Million
With nine Olympic gold medals under his belt, Carl Lewis had an incredible run throughout four consecutive Olympic tournaments. In fact, he’s the only man to have ever won gold for the long jump for four consecutive Olympics — in 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996.
Alan Pascoe - $30 Million
British athlete Alan Pascoe won a silver medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics in hurdles. He went on to win several gold medals in European championships, plus additional silver and bronze medals. When he retired as an athlete, he moved on to become a successful event marketer and consultant.
Scott Hamilton - $30 Million
Scott Hamilton says that figure skating saved his life. When he was a child, he somehow just stopped growing, and doctors couldn’t figure out why. The illness corrected itself on its own eventually, but it was Hamilton's skating that helped him achieve a normal life and, as he excelled, gave him a sense of self-esteem.
Greg LeMond - $40 Million
Greg LeMond is one of America's best cyclists. He was the youngest American ever picked for the U.S. Olympic cycling team in 1980. However, because the United States protested those games, which took place in Moscow, LeMond never got to compete.
Shaun White - $40 Million
Snowboarding has only been an Olympic sport since 1998. Since that time, Shaun White has managed to snag three Olympic gold medals for the U.S. snowboarding team. He won his first gold medal in 2006 and his second in 2010.
Lee Chong Wei - $45 Million
Malaysian badminton star Lee Chong Wei won three Olympic silver medals in 2008, 2012 and 2016. He had initially planned to return to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, but his doctor informed him that, after dealing with early-stage nose cancer, he risked the disease coming back by training.
Michael Phelps - $60 Million
When Michael Phelps was a child, he was diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In response, he was advised to take up swimming to deal with all his excess energy. It turns out that was a great move. By age 31, the U.S. swimmer had won 23 gold medals, three silvers and two bronzes in various Olympic swimming competitions.
Usain Bolt - $90 Million
Usain Bolt, a Jamaican former sprinter who has won nine Olympic medals, is considered to be the best sprinter (read: the fastest man) to have ever lived. He won Olympic golds for the 100- and 200-meter titles for three consecutive Olympics: 2008, 2012 and 2016.
Carmelo Anthony - $90 Million
Carmelo Anthony has competed at four Olympic Games for Team USA basketball: 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. As such, he has won four Olympic medals — three of them gold and one of them bronze. That’s more Olympic medals than any other male basketball player.
Caitlyn Jenner - $100 Million
Caitlyn Jenner won the gold medal in the decathlon during the 1976 Montreal Olympics, setting a world record with 8,634 points. Jenner went on to capitalize on Olympic fame, including being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and becoming the spokesperson for Wheaties.
Lance Armstrong - $125 Million
Lance Armstrong has become famous not only for his incredible overall cycling record, seven Tour de France titles and bronze medal during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but also for the biggest doping scandal the cycling world has ever seen.
Kevin Durant - $170 Million
Kevin Durant competed with the U.S. men’s basketball team in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, helping the teams win gold medals in each. During his participation in the 2012 Olympics, he set the record for points scored during an Olympic basketball tournament.
Rafael Nadal - $180 Million
Spain's Rafael Nadal, now worth $180 million, took the gold medal for men's singles during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. It was his first time competing in the Olympics, and he was able to outmatch top players like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. While he had beaten them before, besting them in the Olympics helped show the world his enormous talent.
Serena Williams - $180 Million
Serena Williams, with a net worth of $180 million, is considered perhaps the greatest female tennis player ever to exist. Her sister, Venus Williams, is also an incredibly talented tennis player, and in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the girls won their first of three doubles gold medals.
Neymar - $185 Million
Neymar, one of the world's highest-paid soccer players, helped lead his native Brazil to victory during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. It was Brazil's first Olympic gold medal in soccer. Neymar plays for both the Brazil National Team and the French club Paris Saint-Germain.
Novak Djokovic - $220 Million
The Serbian professional tennis player Novak Djokovic is one of the most successful tennis players in the world, worth $220 million. While he has won many tennis matches throughout his career, his time competing in the Olympic Games in 2008, 2012 and 2016 didn’t provide him the honor he might have wanted.
Lionel Messi - $400 Million
Lionel Messi is a famous soccer player for FC Barcelona, though he is originally from Argentina. He played for Argentina during the 2008 Olympic Games, proving himself to be quite pivotal for the team and leading them to win a gold medal. He was only 21 years old, and this was early in his career.
Shaquille O’Neal - $400 Million
Shaquille O’Neal, also known as Shaq, was a high school, then college, then NBA basketball star. His professional career in the NBA began in 1992 when he was a first-round draft pick by the Orlando Magic. Four years later, he went on to play in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta for the U.S. basketball team, helping to secure the gold medal.
Roger Federer - $450 Million
Swiss tennis player Roger Federer is perhaps the world's most successful tennis star. Ever. That being said, while he has 19 Grand Slam victories, he’s only won one Olympic gold medal, and that was for men's doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Cristiano Ronaldo - $460 Million
Back in 2003, Cristiano Ronaldo began his soccer career at age 18 with Manchester United, having proven his incredible talent already as a youth. In 2004, he participated in the Olympic Games in Athens for Portugal’s team, though this team did not win a medal.
LeBron James - $480 Million
LeBron James began his basketball career right out of high school with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003. Shortly after that, in 2004, he competed in his first Olympic Games in Athens, though the U.S. team only took home the bronze medal.
Kobe Bryant - $500 Million
Kobe Bryant was a basketball star before he competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, so his wealth did not come from being an Olympian. That being said, he was a crucial part of that 2008 Olympic team, leading them to win the gold that year after the U.S. team only got the bronze in 2004.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. - $560 Million
Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. competed in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. While he’s known for being undefeated in his subsequent professional career, eventually earning him a net worth of $560 million, those Olympics didn’t treat the teenage Mayweather quite so well.
Cameron & Tyler Winklevoss - $600 Million Each
The identical Winklevoss twins Cameron and Tyler competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics together in men's pair rowing. They placed sixth, far from winning any medals. However, their huge fortunes, each worth over $600 million, came from their part in the creation of Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg, not from their short time as Olympians.
Magic Johnson - $600 Million
Before the 1989 International Olympic Committee decided to allow professional players to compete in the Olympic Games, basketball wasn't really on the Olympic Games' map. However, once that decision was made, the U.S. got Earvin "Magic" Johnson to lead the 1992 team in Barcelona.
Ion Tiriac - $1.1 Billion
Romanian Olympian-turned-businessman Ion Tiriac's net worth is $1.1 billion. He competed on the Romanian national ice hockey team in 1964. However, he later became a professional tennis player, winning the 1970 French Open in men's doubles. Tiriac was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.
Michael Jordan - $1.9 Billion
Before Michael Jordan rose to the top of the NBA and became one of the most famous athletes of all time, he was an Olympian. Jordan competed in the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics and a few months later was drafted to the Chicago Bulls as the number-three overall pick.