Jamaica’s super speedster Usain Bolt currently holds the number 40 spot on Forbes Magazine’s list of the highest paid athletes in the world after raking in a cool US$ 24.2 million dollars over the last year.
Bolt repeated his gold medal trifecta at the 2012 Summer Olympics by winning the 100 and 200 meter finals, as well as the 4×100 meter relay. He introduced himself to the world at the 2008 Games when he set world records in the 100 and 200 meter events. Bolt earns little in prize money, but cashes in through endorsements, appearance fees and sponsor bonuses for record race times. His biggest endorsement deal with Puma pays about 9 million dollars annually. He added multi-million dollar deals with Samsung and Comcast since the London Games.
It means he is ranked ahead of the biggest names in global sports such as Sachin Tendulkar ($22m), Chris Paul ($21.8m), Dirk Nowitzki ($21.4m), Wayne Rooney ($21.1 m), Sergio Aguero ($20.9m), Didier Drogba ($20.8m), Yaya Toure ($20.7m), and Barcelona’s newest Brazilian striker Neymar ($20.5m).
The list is now led by new number one, American golfer Tiger Woods who pocketed $78.1 million.
17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer is second with $71.5m with LA Lakers superstar guard Kobe Bryant third with $61.9 million.
Another NBA player, Lebron James of the Miami Heat ($59.8m) and New Orleans Saints star NFL quarterback Drew Brees ($51m), round out the top 5 places.
The top 10 is completed by Aaron Rodgers ($49m), Phil Mickelson ($48.7m), David Beckham ($47.2m), Cristiano Ronaldo ($44m) and Lionel Messi ($41.3m).
Boxer Floyd Mayweather who previously held the number one spot fell to 14thearning ($34m) while Mahendra Singh Dhoni ($31.5m) at 16 was the highest ranked cricketer.
French open champion Maria Sharapova ($29m) at no.22, Serena Williams ($20.5m) at 68 and Li Na ($18.2m) at 85 are the only woman inside the top 100.
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