Some athletes aspire for gold not only for the glory of winning an Olympic medal but also for a generous monetary reward.However, for a select few, endorsement deals have already funded their trip to London and then some.
According to Forbes, many of the top earning female athletes are Olympians, and whether the gold in their pocket is a result from the gold hanging around their necks or other career accomplishments, these women aren’t too concerned with finding work after the 2012 games!
Despite holding a second seed in the Olympic women's singles competition and the number two spot in the world, Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska fell to unseeded Julia Goerges of Germany in the first round. But she has plenty to fall back on even if she leaves London without a medal: her prize winnings and endorsements from the likes of Lexus have garnered her $6.9 million in the last year.
After seeing her world ranking slip to no. 64 in 2010, Ana Ivanovic has climbed back to no. 12, securing one of the richest endorsement deals for a female athlete from Adidas along the way. She fell in the third round of Olympic women's singles competition to Kim Cljisters of Germany, but fortunately this tennis champ has $7.2 million in yearly earnings to fall back upon!
After winning the women's figure skating gold in Vancouver, Kim Yuna returned home to South Korea to a multitude of endorsement deals. Between those and her headlining appearances in the All That Skate show, she has pulled in $9 million in earnings in the past year.
Currently ranked no. 1 in the world among female tennis players, Victoria Azarenka is also the one-seed in the Olympic women's singles competition and faces Nadia Petrova in the quarterfinals on behalf of her native Belarus. Her prize money and new Nike endorsement deal brought in $9.7 million in the last year.
capitalising on her sizzle factor, Caroline Wozniacki may be better known of late for her relationship with golfer Rory McIlroy and her soon-to-be-launched line of underwear. But she's a serious athlete who has racked up $13.7 million in prize money and endorsements of Adidas, Rolex, Sony Ericsson, and more. Watch for her facing the second highest paid female Olympian, Serena Williams in Thursday's quarterfinals, competing on behalf of her native Denmark.
Serena Williams already has two Olympic gold medals that she won alongside sister Venus in the 2000 and 2008 games, but that isn't stopping this tennis powerhouse from trying again for the US in 2012. Her prize money and Nike endorsements garnered her $16.3 million in the last year. She next faces Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals.
Tallying up prize money, appearance fees, and multiple endorsement deals (including Nike, Tag Heuer, Samsung, and Evian),the 2012 French Open champ racked up $27.1 million within the past year. According to Forbes, that places her fourth among all Olympic athletes. Competing for Russia in her first Olympics, she next faces Kim Cljisters in the women's singles quarterfinals.
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