Sports

The Richest Olympic Athletes Include Some Surprises

America's Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss at the start of the men's pair Rowing at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

If you ask most Olympic athletes, they’ll tell you they compete for the love of the game, not the money. Other than a select few Olympians who land lucrative endorsement deals, the Olympics are not necessarily a big moneymaker for participating athletes. But this doesn’t mean you can’t make money as an Olympian as evidenced by these rich Olympic athletes.

Roger Federer, $400 million

One of the greatest tennis players of his generation, Roger Federer has won two Olympic medals while competing at four Summer Olympics for his native Switzerland. With many endorsement deals, including Uniqlo, Credit Suisse, Mercedes-Benz and Rolex, Federer is easily among the richest Olympians, according to Money.com.

LeBron James, $400 million

A three-time NBA champion who is arguably the biggest name in basketball, LeBron James has also won three Olympic medals with Team USA, including golds in 2008 and 2012. Along with many other NBA superstars, however, he will not appear in the upcoming Olympics.

Shaquille O’Neal, $400 million

Another iconic NBA player, Shaquille O’Neal won gold with Team USA in 1996, the only year he competed at the Summer Olympics. It was the second year of Team USA Basketball utilizing the famous “Dream Team” at the Olympics, and they dominated, winning every game by at least 20 points.

Cristiano Ronaldo, $400 million

Cristiano Ronaldo is probably one of the first names any soccer fan will recognize. You may not remember, but the then-19-year-old competed for Portugal at the 2004 Olympics. His team failed to medal, and he has not played at the Olympics since.

Floyd Mayweather Jr., $560 million

A polarizing figure in boxing, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has never lost a fight in his pro career, with a 50-0 record. But he does have a notable loss on his ledger. Mayweather competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and lost in a controversial decision to Bulgarian Serafim Todorov. This was successfully protested by the U.S. team, and Mayweather received the bronze.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, $600-plus million each

If you saw The Social Network, a movie about the founding of Facebook, you know the Winklevoss twins, who famously sued Mark Zuckerberg for control of the popular social network site. What isn’t as well known is that they competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Cameron and Tyler participated together in a men’s rowing event, finishing in sixth place.

Magic Johnson, $600 million

Magic Johnson was a member of the original Dream Team for USA Basketball in 1992, which set the stage for the parade of NBA players who competed for Team USA in the years to come. Alongside college rival Larry Bird, he was a co-captain of the team, which easily won the gold.

Ion Tiriac, $1.2 billion

Ion Tiriac may be the only name of this list that you don’t know. But he is the second richest Olympic athlete of all-time. So, who is this guy? A national hero for Romania, the hockey player competed at the 1964 Winter Olympics.

Then, the Transylvania native became a pro tennis player in the ’70s, with a spot in the top-10 rankings at one point in his career. Outside of sports, Tiriac has become a successful entrepreneur with investments in insurance companies, car dealerships, and petroleum companies. He even owns a museum, where he displays his personal car collection of Bentleys, Lamborghinis, and Ferraris.

Michael Jordan, $1.4 billion

Perhaps the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan was Johnson’s teammate on the ’92 Dream Team, but that wasn’t the first time he was an Olympian. Jordan also competed for Team USA at the 1984 Olympics, when he was still playing college basketball at UNC. (He won gold then too.)